How much will weeds challenge output from grass after a difficult spring?

As farmers confront the costs and challenges from a very difficult spring, weed control in grazing swards is likely to be well down the list of priorities.

However, when grass growth does take off, it is crucial to ensure that weeds don’t dominate and further reduce the output of grass across the growing season. Therefore, where weeds exist, it is important to control them as early as possible.

Docks, buttercups, dandelions and thistles are the most common weeds in grazing swards. Relatively low infestations of these weeds can cut grass output by 20%. Severe infestations can cut output by half.

That is why an effective control strategy is so important. And, when it comes to selecting the best all-purpose weed killer, there is nothing to beat Forefront T.

Containing the most advanced chemistry in weed control technology, it is powerful on docks, thistles, nettles and other pernicious weeds – such as buttercups and dandelions. It is also highly effective on ragwort.

Apply Forefront T as a single application at 2L/ha in 200-300L of water per hectare. Keep stock off the pasture for seven days after spraying. Forefront T does not result in any check to grass growth; but it will kill the clover.

Best results from Forefront T are achieved when docks are actively growing, are 15-25cm high or across and before a seed head begins to show. This is called the rosette stage

Timing is crucial

Chris Maughan, technical manager with Whelehan Crop Protection, stressed the importance of applying the spray at the correct timing in order to ensure maximum uptake of the chemical, which is then translocated down to the root system, thereby ensuring best long-term control.

“Best results are achieved when weeds are actively growing and are at the right stage for a good kill. Docks should be 15-25cm high or across and spray should be applied before a seed head begins to show. Thistles should have four-to-10 leaves and be 15-25cm high.

“Following spraying, keep stock off the treated areas for at least seven days. If ragwort is among the target weeds, stock should be kept off the treated area until the ragwort plant has died fully and disappeared,” Chris advised.

Forefront T fact file:

  • The perfect all-purpose weed killer in grazing pastures;
  • Contains two powerful ingredients – Aminopyralid and Triclopyr;
  • Effective on a wide range of weeds, including docks, thistles, nettles, buttercups, dandelions and ragwort;
  • Apply at a rate of 2L/ha;
  • Use a minimum of 200-300L of water per hectare (20-30 gallons per acre);
  • Allow seven days grazing interval following spraying.