A major focus in agriculture this year has been on increasing the clover content in swards on farms. With that in mind, it is necessary to remember that to oversow clover, weeds in swards need to be under control.
The advice from Teagasc at clover walks held earlier this year was to walk your farm and identify paddocks that may be suitable for oversowing clover.
These paddocks should have a very low weed burden and have good-quality grass already in the paddock.
However, Teagasc also advised farmers to look at paddocks that have a weed burden that could be sorted this year for oversowing clover next year.
Because establishing clover in swards requires different management compared to the rest of your farm, it is advised that no more than 10% of a farm is sown in clover each year.
The aim is to select paddocks that have a level of weed burden that has the potential to be controlled this year.
It should be noted that paddocks with a higher level of weed burden may require more time to control, or a full reseed.
Now is a good time of year to spray weeds on farms. Weeds are young and actively growing at present, which means they are at their most manageable stage.
This is particularly true for docks and thistles which, if left too long, become harder to manage.
The products used for spraying weeds are expensive -increasingly so this year – so ensuring that maximum kill is achieved is important.
Ensuring that the label and instruction for the spray are read carefully and used as instructed is also important.
Top tips for spraying:
- Ensure the chosen product is suited to the weed you are trying to kill;
- Always read the label and adhere to the buffer zones and the rate specified;
- Keep a record of product(s) used;
- Don’t spray in windy or wet conditions;
- Wear suitable/personal protective-clothing;
- Wash all spraying equipment after use;
- Ensure the recommended time between spraying and grazing, or cutting for silage, is adhered to.