Oilseed rape growers can now consider an alternative weed control strategy after a new herbicide to tackle broad-leaved weeds was approved for use in the UK.
Belkar will allow growers to see crops establish before tackling key competitive weeds, helping to manage early-season costs and the risks associated with applying pre-emergence sprays.
Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, says Belkar is a game changer because it adds a level of flexibility never seen before in oilseed rape weed control programmes.
John Sellars, oilseed rape herbicide product manager, said: “For years growers have invested in pre-emergence herbicides before they see crops or weeds coming out of the ground.
“Belkar will allow them to wait and see what they have in the field before deciding on the best strategy.
“The extreme weather conditions we’ve seen over the past 12 months serves as a timely reminder that we never know what is around the corner, so we need solutions that can help manage the risk and volatility of growing oilseed rape.”
Belkar contains Arylex, a new active ingredient for oilseed rape, which delivers robust, reliable control of key problem weeds in variable temperatures with a flexible window of application.
The spray period is from September to December and in extensive field trials it has shown excellent control of cranesbill, cleavers, poppy, shepherds purse, and fumitory.
Mr Sellars added: “Many growers and their advisors have already made their decisions for this autumn’s herbicide applications, so while a limited volume of product will be available for applications this autumn, we are planning to make available and sell the first significant volumes in autumn 2019.”