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 The use of pre-harvest glyphosate will be a worthwhile exercise on many cereal crops this harvest: to improve harvesting speed, help maintain quality and to control any weeds which may have germinated in the crop.
For most crops 1.5 litres/ha of a 360g/lt glyphosate (e.g. Motif / Samurai / Rosate) is sufficient for harvest management and small annual broad-leaved weeds. More expensive proprietary glyphosate brands such as Roundup Energy or Glyfos Dakar will act faster and are more rain fast, however if desiccation is timed correctly this should not be necessary.
It is important to check with the merchant before glyphosate is applied to milling crops especially, and seed crops should not under any circumstances be treated with glyphosate. Certain malting barley contracts also prohibit the use of glyphosate for pre-harvest desiccation.
Skyfall was difficult to thrash out last season as its straw remained very green despite the grain being fit. Oats, both winter and spring, can also retain green leaf and straw making combining difficult.
The correct timing is when the grain is below 30% moisture; at this stage the grain should just take a thumbnail print. In most situations combining will be around 10-14 days after this, however the harvest interval of 7 days for most products must be observed.
Ripeness can also be assessed by checking the colour of the Peduncle just below the ear – when the crop is ready for glyphosate it will be yellow/brown as shown on the right most ear.

If you are planning to treat a large area of crops pre-harvest this should be planned in conjunction with combine capacity as straw quality, and hence standing ability, will deteriorate following glyphosate application.
Glyphosate rates should be increased to 3.0 l/ha of a 360g/lt product or equivalent, where larger perennial weeds or Couch Grass are the target. Water volumes of 100 litres/ha are normally sufficient unless the weed burden is particularly heavy. Generic 360g products normally require 6 hours rainfast, whereas more expensive brands such as Glyfos Dakar require just 1 hour.
Note that glyphosate should NOT be used on land destined for ELS Overwinter Stubble.
For seed crops diquat is the only option for desiccating pea crops. 2 litres/ha is sufficient for evening up the crop.  In weedy crops 3lts/ha should be applied.   Uptake and coverage can be improve with the addition of a non-ionic wetter (e.g. Activator 90), at 100mls/100 lts water. The correct timing is as follows: 
  • Top Pods – Seed should split between thumb and finger, pods fleshy and green/yellow.
  • Middle pods – seed is rubbery and will not split
  • Lower pods – pods are light brown and thin, the seeds will be hard.
Glyphosate can be used on non-seed crops, when the grain moisture is below 30%. This is particularly necessary on crops where Bindweed or other Broadleaved Weeds are present. Apply 3.0 l/ha in 200 litres of water.
In the heat of harvest it is still vital to consider the impact of operations on the soil structure, particularly this year when soil moisture levels are high and compaction risk is increased. Simple steps can be taken to minimise damage without slowing down operations:
  • Keep trailers on tramlines or headlands where possible, particularly until soils have dried out further.
  • Stack straw on the headlands, and if at all possible confine straw lorries and anything on super single axles to the headlands.
  • Chop straw on notoriously wet areas of fields to avoid balers, loaders and straw trailer damage.
  • It is essential to examine soil structure prior to deep cultivations and subsoiling this year. On the plus side, this year could be a good opportunity for mole draining!.
Copyright © 2016 CCC LTD, All rights reserved.

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