Pre-emergence best control option for grass weed control

Winter cereals are being drilled into the ground all over the country. The focus at present is on getting crops into the ground.

The early start to drilling, by many, is most likely due to both an intention to increase acreage and the good weather conditions. Weed control is just around the corner.

The early sowers, therefore, will most likely still be sowing and pre-emergence spraying may not happen on these crops.

However, where possible, pre-emergence weed control is the best option; particularly for annual meadow-grass control.

Where farmers do not get to spray the crop before it emerges, it is important to then wait until the crop is fully emerged. Spraying at peri-emergence (when the crop is in the process of emerging) can set the crop back.


There are a host of pre-emergence options available to farmers this season.

Firebird (flufenacet and diflufenican) and Vigon (diflufenican, flufenacet and flurtamone) will give good control of grass weeds, while also acting on broad-leaved weeds.

Firebird is a good option where annual meadow-grass is an issue; it can also prove successful where sterile brome is problematic. Vigon gives similar control, but works better on ryegrass than Firebird.

Flight works well on weeds like fumitory, poppies and cleavers, as well as grass weeds. It can also have some effects on wild oats.

Plenty of generic options are also available, such as Tower and Bulldog, which both contain pendimethalin and diflufenican. Tower also contains chlorotoluron which works well on annual meadow-grass. Navigate and Naceto contain flufenacet and diflufenican.


While many of the options above can also be used post-emergence, more options come into play post-emergence.

Defy (prosulfocarb) and DFF (diflufenican) will give control of annual meadow-grass; best control of broad-leaved weeds is achieved when applied early.

On wheat Broadway Star (pyroxsulam and florasulam) and Alister Flex (diflufenican, mesosulfuron-methyl and iodosulfuron-methyl-sodium), both offer control of sterile brome and other grass weeds.


On crops which have not been treated with Redigo Deter, an aphicide should be applied at the 2-4 leaf stage.