WITH an increased area of peas, beans and lupins planted this spring in response to the recently announced Protein Crops Scheme, growers are reminded about the importance of timely weed control.
Once sown, weed control is arguably the biggest factor in ensuring a successful crop states Leigh McClean, CAFRE Crops Adviser. “Protein crops take a bit of time to get going and as a result do not compete particularly well with weeds early on so it is important they get a head start.
“Pre-emergence herbicide application is essential. There are good pre-emergence herbicides on the market which control a wide range of broad leaved weeds without stunting the crop.” He advises growers to apply herbicide as soon as conditions permit after planting.
“Pre-emergence herbicides are most effective if applied to damp soil or when there is light rain after spraying. Do not delay if the weather stays dry after sowing as there is the risk, should the crop emerge, of the spray timing being missed and weed control being compromised. If that happens there is only one post emergence product which supresses a very limited spectrum of broad leaved weeds and it is likely to stunt the crop, it should only be considered as a last resort.”
Mr McClean goes on to add: “Volunteer cereals that emerge with the crop can be controlled with a graminicide. These types of herbicides also have some effect on grass weeds dependant on the product used and the size of the grass weeds to be controlled. For best results apply as soon as the majority of volunteers or grasses have emerged, before they get too big, when the spray will be shaded out by the crop canopy.”
n For more detailed information on products and timing consult a BASIS registered Agronomist or your local CAFRE Crops Adviser.
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