Maintaining a highly productive grassland sward is essential in keeping feed costs low in ruminant production systems. Therefore, farmers should carry-out weed control protocols to maintain a healthy sward, and to prevent the growth of unproductive weeds, such as docks.
Docks are a species of weeds that are commonly seen in grasslands throughout Ireland.
Although there are many species of dock, two that are most prevalent in Irish soil are the broad leaf dock and the curly dock.
The problem with docks
Docks will compete with grass for light, moisture and nutrients, and tend to prosper in fields where soil fertility is high.
For example, silage fields with long growing seasons allow the dock to produce long vigorous leaves.
As a result, in fields where dock infestation is high, silage yields can be negatively impacted by up to 20%.
In addition to affecting silage yields, docks are also unpalatable, affecting herd consumption and therefore production. Additionally, if eaten, dock seeds are dispersed across the land through animal excretion.
It is recommended that farmers follow a weed control program to prevent the spread of unproductive weeds, such as docks, with herbicides like the Dock Box by Hygeia so that they maintain a productive and palatable sward.
Hygeia has been producing herbicides and agricultural products in Co. Galway since 1939. Hygeia’s Dock Box provides farmers with an easy solution in controlling the spread and growth of docks and major broad-leaved weeds.
The Dock Box contains two separate products, Hygrass Extra 3.5L and New Hyflux 1L, which are biologically compatible and if used in conjunction, they can provide an excellent control of docks and major broad-leaved weeds.
For difficult to control weeds, use Hygrass Extra at full rate (3.5L/ha) and New Hyflux at half rate (1L/ha).
For short-term control or where weeds are not well established, Hygrass Extra can be applied at the rate of 1.75L/ha in conjunction with New Hyflux at 0.5L/ha.
It’s recommended that farmers apply Hygeia’s Dock Box during late-April to early May, when dock growth is most prevalent.
Herbicide application must be carried out safely and all instructions must be read carefully prior to use.
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