With unprecedented farm costs rising continuously this year, farmers are aiming to keep feed costs to a minimum by maximising their grass yields.

As fertiliser prices rapidly increase, farmers must ensure they are implementing an effective weed control programme to reduce competition within the sward.

Grassland weeds compete with grass for light, nutrients and moisture, culminating in a reduction of grass yields.

The presence of dominant weed species such as chickweed and docks can have a dramatic impact on yield. Research has shown that a 10% infestation rate of these weed species can result in up to a 10% reduction in grass yield.

Furthermore, the presence of weeds in a grass sward will also have a negative effect on quality as they provide little or no feeding value for animals.

Maximise your grass yields

Pradera is a translocated herbicide which is taken up by the leaves of weeds. It is essential that target weeds have fully emerged and are actively growing at the time of spraying; weeds which emerge after spraying will not be controlled.

Pradera should be applied at 3L/ha using a minimum water volume of 200L/ha, water volume should be increased to up to 400L/ha in dense swards, in order to provide full coverage of target weeds.

Best results will be achieved when Pradera is applied to weeds which are actively growing and at the correct growth stage.

Warm, moist weather conditions are conducive to the optimum performance of Pradera once the leaf is dry at the time of spraying.


In silage and hay swards the optimum application timing is two to four weeks after the first application of nitrogen. This timing generally corresponds to the correct weed growth stage required for optimum performance.

  • Docks should be 15–25cm high/wide and before the seed head begins to emerge (rosette stage);
  • Thistles should have 4-10 leaves and be 15–25cm high (rosette stage);
  • Best control of buttercups will be achieved just before flowering; however, good results can still be achieved during flowering.

It is important to allow time for translocation of the chemical to all growth areas of the plant and a minimum of three weeks should have passed before mowing for silage or hay after an application of Pradera.

If weeds are too advanced for spraying before the first cut of silage or hay, applications should be delayed until regrowth of the sward after harvest; best timing is generally 3–4 weeks after mowing.

The decision of when to apply Pradera to paddocks or fields used for grazing should be made to correspond with correct weed growth stage and good growing conditions. Animals should be kept off grazing swards for seven days after application.

Toxic weeds

Weeds poisonous to livestock, such as ragwort, represent a major threat to animal health. If ragwort is present at the time of application extra precautions must be taken.

When ragwort dies it becomes sweet and palatable to animals, but it is still highly toxic. Ragwort should be removed from the sward or given time to decay to a point where it becomes unpalatable to animals before re-entry.


Herbicide application

Pradera is a grassland herbicide from Irish manufacturer Barclay Crop Protection which offers excellent control of a wide range of problematic grassland weeds including buttercup, chickweed, dandelions, daisy, docks, thistles and nettles.

Pradera contains a combination of three tried-and-trusted active ingredients: MCPA; fluroxypyr; and clopyralid.

  • Precise ingredient breakdown: 233g/L MCPA, 50g/L fluroxypyr and 28 g/L clopyralid;
  • Weeds controlled include buttercup, chickweed, cleavers, daisy, docks, thistles and nettles;
  • Apply 3L in a minimum of 200L of water/ha; increasing the water volume to up to 400L/ha in high-density swards;
  • Each 5L pack will treat 1.6ha (4.1ac);
  • Applications can be made from March 1 to August 31;
  • Short animal re-entry period of only seven days after application;
  • Clover in the sward will be killed or severely checked following an application of Pradera.

For more information, contact your local merchant or click here.