SHORT OF GRASS? IT’S TIME TO TACKLE THOSE WEEDS

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How spraying can help improve a paddock.

Following a wet and mild winter, weeds such as buttercups, daisies, docks and nettles are taking every chance to establish in poached ground and bare patches of soil. 

They need to be controlled if you want sufficient grass for grazing, say the experts at Corteva. 

Some weeks, such as ragwort, are poisonous to horses; others will take over a paddock and some can spread their seed to neighbours’ properties. They also make fields look messy and unkempt.

Boom sprayer

If the whole field has a weed problem, then you’ll probably need a contractor to apply a herbicide using a boom sprayer. Envy is ideal. 

Envy gives high levels of control of a broad range of weeds such as buttercup, dandelion, chickweed, plantain, daisy and dock. It is safe to grass and will also remove clover.

Horses need to be removed for just seven days, in the absence of ragwort. Envy will not control ragwort, but it might have an effect. Where ragwort is present, please ensure animals are excluded from treated areas until all ragwort has completely recovered or died and there is no visible sign of the dead weed. 

Envy is particularly useful for horse paddocks as it will not result in any herbicide residues in the manure subsequently produced – so this can be picked, stored and later safely used in gardens or allotments. 

Knapsack sprayer

If the field has patches of weeds and the application method is knapsack then consider Grazon Pro. 

This product is particularly effective on docks, nettles and thistles, but is also great on woody weeds such as bramble, gorse and broom. 

Both Envy and Grazon Pro are professional use herbicides, so to apply them you need a PA2 Ground Crop Sprayer certificate for Envy or a PA6 Hand Held Applicator certificate for Grazon Pro (see www.nptc.org.uk). 

How to find a contractor

If you don’t have these certificates, then either ask the land owner, a farmer or approach a spray contractor. Spray contractors should be fully insured and have up-to-date, calibrated application equipment and spray nozzles appropriate to the situation. 

To find a local contractor search the National Association of Agricultural Contractors (NAAC) website at www.naac.co.uk. Or download the Corteva Grassland App and look at the ‘Find a Spray Contractor’ feature in the Support Tools.

For more information visit the Corteva website by clicking here

Photo by Emil Björkman from PexelsCopy