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Crop watch: Time to think about propyzamide for OSR – Farmers Weekly – Ben Pledger

Ben Pledger looks at agronomic issues in the East (Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire) ...

With temperatures now dropping off, it is time to think about applications of propyzamide to control grassweeds in oilseed rape and lucerne as well as preemergence in winter beans, if they have been drilled. However, to protect water quality, field drains shouldn’t be running at the time of application.

In oilseed rape, where halauxifen-methyl + picloram has been applied earlier for broad-leaved weed control, straight propyzamide will, in most cases, be enough. Where no broadleaved herbicide has been applied, and there is the weed burden to warrant it, propyzamide + aminopyralid will be applied. Prothioconazole will also be added where the control of light leaf spot is needed.

In previous years, where wetter soils have persisted throughout later autumn and into winter, residual herbicide top-ups have worked well in wheat and barley at reducing grassweed pressure for the forthcoming spring.

With autumn grassweed pressures evaluated and mapped, residual top-up applications have been under way using flufenacet as the base active ingredient, and either diflufenican or pendimethalin as the mixing partner, depending on broad-leaved weed pressure and label restrictions following the initial residual herbicide application.

Where there is the need to apply an insecticide for BYDV following a T-Sum 170 calculation, and field inspection, lambda-cyhalothrin has been tank mixed with the herbicide.

Very variable sugar beet yields are in some cases altering cropping plans. Where growers are yielding significantly less than usual, and have come to the end of a contract, renewal is not financially viable and the search for alternative break crops is on.

This is leading to wider conversations about soil health, cover cropping, and using Countryside Stewardship scheme options within the rotation to remediate areas that suffer from poor soil structure, high grassweed pressure and lower organic matter content.

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