The beet crop on John Mulhare’s farm was peeping when AgriLand visited and should be well up over the ground at the time of reading. The TerraChem agronomist is going straight in with a herbicide application once the rows are visible.

This application will be split. 60% of the rates listed below will be sprayed twice – five days apart. And as John explains in this installment of CROPS WATCH, the five day interval is critical.

John rolled the ground once the beet was sown. This allowed for a fine seedbed and, as a result, the herbicide will have a better chance of hitting the small weeds. If not rolled, these small weeds may be covered by a clod of clay and will not be sprayed.

Herbicide programme

John explained that in theory you can spray beet before it has emerged, as long as the weeds are up. It is very important to target weeds when they are small. The herbicide programme that John uses is kind to the crop and allows for early application.

Post-emergence spray:
  • Debut – 30g/ha;
  • Betenal maxxPro – 0.5L/ha;
  • Venzar Flowable – 0.4L/ha;
  • Goltix – 0.5L/ha;
  • Super Rapeeze (methylated rapeseed oil) – 0.5L/ha (apply oil at full rate at each split).

“The post-emergence spray can actually go on before the beet crop itself is fully emerged. In reality you are aiming to go post-emergence of the first weed flush and the size of the beet plants have no bearing on the timing of the application,” John explained.

This is the benefit of the ‘Debut programme’ in that it’s extremely kind to the beet and does not slow down early development of the crop, while – at the same time – delivering very efficient and broad spectrum weed control.

When you use the Debut programme properly, it highlights how any pre-emergence herbicide application is both technically unnecessary and financially wasteful.

Slugs and forage rape

Forage rape is a very good break crop in the rotation; but as John discussed before, not all plants were killed by an application of glyphosate because there was very little leaf on the plant at the time.

Odd bits of the overwinter forage rape crop remain and the only cure for these live plants will be to pull them.

Slugs were also visible near these plants and it is something to look out for in your crop. Remember if slugs are a problem, pellets are most beneficial when the plant is coming up.