Cold snap sparks cleaver warning for UK’s cereal growers

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A sharp drop in temperatures across the UK’s cereal-growing regions has left farmers facing a weed control problem.

After a period of unseasonably warm weather, a cold snap means cleavers – a key competitive weed in cereal crops – have become stressed and shut down.

Without the weed actively growing, traditional chemistry used for spring applications struggles to make headway in killing cleavers off.

“Cleavers are a top target for growers at this time of year when they are making a decision about what to put in the sprayer,” said Dow AgroSciences customer agronomist Stuart Jackson.

“Failing to take them out will lead to a yield penalty and leave a problem in the field for next season.

“Temperatures are all over the place but growers don’t have time to wait until the warmer weather returns.

“The worst case scenario would be growers applying their traditional chemistry now, only for it to be ineffective and then having to endure the expense of repeating the job.”

Mr Jackson says that Dow’s new Arylex Active herbicides – Pixxaro EC and Zypar – have proven to deliver market-leading performance in cold-weather cleaver control.

“Pixxaro has shown to be nearly 40% more effective than florasulam – the previous market leader – in difficult conditions while Zypar has demonstrated nearly 100% efficacy,” Mr Jackson said.

“Performance in cold and variable weather conditions is the hallmark of Arylex Active products and will be a vital tool for any growers who need to get on with spring applications without worrying about the temperature.”

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