‘Shark’ to control weeds in strawberries

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A brand new Extension of Authorisation of Minor Use (EAMU) for ‘Shark’ acts as an effective herbicide control against a variety of weeds that reside in the planting holes of strawberry crops.

Controlling nuisance weeds that grow within the planting holes of strawberry crops has long presented a significant challenge to growers, with the time-consuming method of hand weeding until now being the only real solution. Although there are other herbicides for weed prevention in strawberries, ‘Shark’ will allow growers to take control of existing weeds in strawberries,

However, with trials of ‘Shark’ proving it to be a highly successful control against nuisance weeds, it could not only save significantly on labour costs but also help to reduce crop competition and therefore yields.

“Given the costs of hand labour required for weeding in strawberry plantations, I welcome a project of this nature which helps to identify new products for weed control” says Richard Stanley, a strawberry grower.

Interestingly, the trials for ‘Shark’ found the new EAMU to be most effective when applied during the dormant and immediately post-harvest season. The first trial in February of the dormant season showed no lasting effects to plant quality or subsequent fruit yield.

Additionally, the second when Shark was applied post-harvest in September, produced a significant reduction in weeds and left no aesthetic effects on newly emerging leaves.

The herbicide proved to be particularly effective in getting rid of nuisance weeds such as willowherb, chickweed and groundsel.

Scott Raffle, knowledge exchange manager said: “We are aware the financial pressures on growers to remove weeds by hand could be in the region of £1,200/ha per session and they may need that a few times a year. With new post-emergence options we could potentially save £2,000/ha. So you can imagine ‘Shark’ could not be available soon enough.”

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