WINTER FORAGE CROPS

First Published March 2016

Many oat crops are well underway in the Braidwood area with excellent establishment & early growth due to the mild temperatures & high autumn rainfall that we’ve been enjoying this autumn. For many growers, these crops will be used to value add to weaner livestock as improved growth rates over the winter period. For others, they will be used as a feed supplement for cows after calving. However for the grass dominant crops (such as oats & ryegrass), there is the risk of lactating cows (usually older, high milking cows) suffering the effects of milk fever (low calcium), grass tetany (low Magnesium levels) or a combination of both, particularly under cold, overcast winter weather. On farms it is mostly seen in cows prior to and soon after calving. In sheep it is usually seen in ewes in late pregnancy but can be seen in all classes of animals. The disease is seen when the body fails to mobilise enough calcium from the bones to maintain normal blood calcium levels, or when certain compounds known as oxalates bind up the calcium.

Whilst the issue of milk fever or grass tetany is not seen every year, it is important to minimise the risk of these disorders. As such, I would suggest adopting the following precautionary measures when introducing lactating livestock onto forage oats/ryegrass dominant crops this winter:

  • Avoid introducing pregnant cattle onto crops prior to calving;
  • Don’t introduce hungry cattle onto crops – fill them up on pasture/hay before putting them on the crop;
  • Ager is important: older, higher milking cows are usually more affected than younger heifers;
  • Avoid introducing cattle onto the crop on overcast, dull winter conditions;
  • Provide a feed supplement of equal proportions of salt/lime/Causemag as well as legume-based hay when grazing cereals/ryegrass. Livestock should be fed this in the weeks before introducing them to winter forage crops to ensure intake of these supplements once grazing of the crop begins.

In this way, liveweight gains from these crops will be maximized & losses minimized. For further details on getting the most out of grazing winter cereals & ryegrass this winter, contact Landmark Daniel Walker or their consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey on 0429625880.

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WINTER FORAGE CROPS

First published March 2016

Excellent rainfall during January has prompted early sowing of forage crops. To maximize return 2 important factors need to be managed.

Weed control in oats

Herbicide options for grass weed control in forage oats are limited. For control of broadleaf weeds, there are a number of options for use in oats, including Agritone (MCPA), Kamba 500, Lontrel & Broadstrike. Precept combines 2 active constituents (Pyrasulfotole & MCPA) for improved control.

Soil Fertility & Nitrogen

Nitrogen is also important for grass-only crops. In addition, liquid-based fertilisers, eg Maximum N Pact (24% N) has been shown to improve winter growth from Italian ryegrass. Do not graze within 2-3 weeks of application due to the potential for nitrate poisoning of livestock at this stage.

For further information on maximizing your winter oat or ryegrass crop this year, call Landmark Daniel Walker or their consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey on 0429625880.

PRODUCT UPDATE: TILLAGE RADISH

First Published March 2015

There is a new forage radish on the market with some interesting features. As you can see from the attached picture, the tillage radish has an enormous taproot, capable of penetrating soils to alleviate compaction.

It is most similar to pasja, as it is a quick maturing crop, which can withstand 1-2 heavy grazings. Early grazing will reduce the ability of the crop to maximize taproot size.

Key features of this crop are as follows:

  • Rapid growth: matures in 45-60 days
  • Acid tolerant
  • Tap root development is highly responsive to Nitrogen
  • Highly aggressive taproot which helps to aerate tight, compacted soil
  • Dense foliage which suppresses weeds
  • Suitable for planting in either December-February for a winter crop, or in June/July for spring/summer grazing.
  • Sowing rate:6kg/ha at around $8.50/kg

For further information call Landmark Daniel Walker’s consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey, on 0429625880.

NEW GRANULOCK SS FERTILIZER AVAILABLE THIS YEAR

First Published March 2017

You may be familiar with Granulock products, such as Granulock 12 or Granulock 15 (now replaced by Croplift 12 & Croplift 15), that have been previously available to growers. However, Granulock SS is a new sowing fertilizer, available this season for growers looking to address low Sulphur levels, whilst also providing Nitrogen & Phosphorus in the one pass. Incitec Pivot Fertilisers’ new Granulock SS fertiliser contains high levels of Sulphur and is suited to a range of pasture and cropping situations. It contains 17.5% phosphorus, 10% nitrogen and 12% sulphur with one third sulphate sulphur and two thirds ultra fine elemental sulphur. The sulphate sulphur is plant available and ready for uptake straight away while the elemental sulphur will become available through the growing season. Granulock SS is a very high quality fertiliser, similar to MAP. It can be used in all types of farm machinery and is versatile for blending with other fertilisers.

Granulock SS is ideally suited as a starter fertilizer at sowing for:

  • Canola, pulses and legume-based pastures with high sulphur demand
  • Crops grown on light sandy or granite-based soils prone to leaching
  • Soils depleted of sulphur by heavy rainfall, flooding or high crop yield.

 

For further details on Granulock SS contact Landmark Daniel Walker or their consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey on 0429625880.

SPREAD OF FLEABANE

First Published March 2012

Typically a weed of northern NSW/Qld, fleabane has spread south under ideal summer rainfall conditions. A few facts on this emerging annual broadleaf weed:

  • prolific seeding – up to 85 000 seeds/plant
    • seed viability: 37 months on soil surface, up to 80 months when buried;
    • zero tillage encourages seed germination – germinates on the soil surface (<1 cm);
    • difficult to control when established & can develop resistance to glyphosate;
    • optimum temperature for seed germination is around 25 oC – no germination occurs below 10 oC or above 30 oC.

Species of fleabane
There are three main species of fleabane in Australia, namely Conyza bonariensis (flaxleaf fleabane), C. Canadensis (Canadian fleabane) and C. albida (tall fleabane). Of the three species, the most common fleabanes in our local area are Canadian & flaxleaf fleabane.

Flaxleaf fleabane can grow up to 1 m tall and has deeply indented leaves. Its branches often grow taller than the main plant axis. Tall fleabane can grow up to 2 m tall. Its leaves are less indented than flaxleaf fleabane and its branches do not grow taller than the main plant axis.
Mature Canadian, tall and flaxleaf fleabane (L to R)

Control options
Cultivation can aid in the control of fleabane as seed can be buried to reduce further infestation. Many herbicides have good activity on small fleabane (up to 5 cm rosette), but weed control generally declines with most products at the 10-15 cm rosette stage. Therefore early control of small rosettes is important. Amicide (2,4-D), Kamba (dicamba) & Lontrel (clopyralid) provide good selective control of small rosette fleabane, even up to early elongation, but severe sub clover damage can be expected with these herbicides. Glyphosate at high rates can also provide effective control in a fallow situation. A double knock of glyphosate & Sprayseed/Gramoxone can also provide effective control. Diuron in lucerne can also provide effective control with Sprayseed on seedling fleabane.

For further information on fleabane, call Roger Garnsey (ph: 0429 625880) to discuss your individual issues.

 

GRAZING TOLERANT LUCERNES FOR THE TABLELANDS
First Published March 2013

With the increasing interest in cross bred lambs, more grazing tolerant lucernes have grown in popularity. To meet this demand, recent research has been undertaken by PGG Wrightson Seeds to investigate the grazing tolerance of various common & new lucerne varieties. The results from this trial work are presented below.
Trial design
20 lucerne varieties covering a range of winter activity ratings were established at Ballarat (Vic) in 2006. In this field experiment, plots were initially subject to 2.5 years of rotational grazing (‘normal management’). The experiment was then continuously grazed for 173 days from late spring to early autumn at a stocking rate equivalent to 50 sheep/ha. This intensity is not considered much more than some farmers would adopt during drought conditions.
Results
By the end of the 173 days, the ground cover of some varieties had significantly declined, but further decline occurred throughout the following winter months when livestock were excluded. The grazing tolerant lines (such as Stamina 5, Stamina GT6 & Venus) persisted better than most standard varieties, even those within the same dormancy category (summarized in Table 1). Stamina 5 was the most persistent variety over the trial, with a 6% decline in stand density over the four years.

Table 1: Ground cover percentages per metre row for the pre-grazing (first assessment 7 April 2010) & final assessment (8 September 2010) after continuous grazing (from ‘Proceedings of the NZ Grasslands Association).

Cultivar Winter activity Ground cover %
First assessment (7/4/2010) Final assessment (8/9/2010)
Non-grazing tolerant varieties
Aurora 6 51 23
Australis 9 29 5
Genesis 7 66 28
Hunterfield 6 70 47
Icon 6 38 14
Kaituna 5 76 36
Sardi 7 7 43 20
Grazing tolerant varieties
Stamina 5 5 92 90
Stamina GT6 4 85 61
Venus 6 91 76
PGWS-1 exp line 3 87 67
PGWS-2 exp line 5 89 71
PGWS-3 exp line 6 77 68
PGWS-5 exp line 5 93 82

The trial demonstrated that there is a strong correlation between winter dormancy & grazing tolerance i.e. the more winter active varieties are less tolerant to grazing. In addition, other attributes contribute to lucerne persistence under grazing, including deep set crowns, prostrate habit, subsuirface budding, broad crowns, maintenance of leaf area under grazing & root carbohydrates.
For further information of grazing tolerant varieties & lucerne establishment, please do not hesitate to contact our consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey through Landmark Daniel Walker on 02 48 422405.

CALCIPRILL & MAGPRILL – ALTERNATIVE OPTION TO BULK F70 LIME

First Published April 2015

Many growers are well versed in the use of bulk lime, such as F70 lime, to correct soil acidity. Whilsttopdressing with bulk lime is very effective at increasing soil pH, it is a large capital expense in a single year.
However, Calciprill (straight calcium lime) & Magprill (a blend of calcium & magnesium lime) offer the grower an alternative, granulated liming product which can be applied through a standard fertiliser spreader or seed drill. These granulated products have been available in the past, but due to reduced transport costs, the price of these products has reduced substantially. In summary, Calciprill & Magprill offer the following advantages:
• made from a micronized powder which is granulated to make it easy to apply to the pasture or crop without producing clouds of dust;
• immediate pH improvement for reduced soil acidity, with maximum benefit obtained in 3 months. Due to increased fineness, these granulated products have a greater effect on soil acidity w/w than bulk F70 lime;
• more convenient: can be topdressed or drilled with seed;
• apply by ground or air in steep terrain;
• typical application rates of 125-150 kg Calciprill or Magprill/ha to correct soil pH at a cost of around $35/ha spread;
• follow-up applications of Calciprill/Magprill or bulk lime are required to achieve the equivalent liming effect of 2.5 t F70 lime/ha;
• available in bulk, 1 tonne bags or 25 kg bags.
As a result, Calciprill & Magprill offer greater flexibility to the grower. It can be used in the following scenarios:
1. The large expense of applying the entire liming effect to the soil in one year may no longer required as this product offers a means of spreading the cost over several years.
2. If the soil is marginally acidic at the surface, but soil pH improves with depth, Calciprill & Magprill can be drilled with the seed to assist in the initial establishment of the pasture in a hostile acidic environment. However, once established, the plants root system can extend to the more favourable subsoil without the need for a major upfront liming cost of 2.5 t/ha.
3. Establish pasture in an acidic soil with 125 kg Calciprill or Magprill/ha @$35/ha, & follow-up each year thereafter with 125 kg/ha until Year 5-6. This will produce a similar improvement in soil acidity to a single application of 2.5 t F70 lime/ha at less overall cost;
4. These products can be topdressed in the same pass as Superphosphate.
For further information on this convenient product, please contact Landmark Daniel Walker or Roger Garnseyon 0429 625880.

Maximising Italian ryegrass production this winter

First Published April 2014

Following the recent autumn rainfall, a significant amount of Italian ryegrass has been sown in the Braidwood area. Growers have been very prudent in their response to these ideal seasonal conditions for timely ryegrass establishment.

It is important to obtain the greatest production
(& therefore payback) from this significant pasture investment. With the onset of the colder months, soil Nitrogen often becomes limiting as soil microbial activity (& therefore Nitrogen turnover) declines. Whilst pasture legumes fix ‘free’ Nitrogen during the warmer months of the year, once soil temperatures fall below 10 oC, clover growth ceases, as does Nitrogen fixation – as a result, our soils typically experience a deficit of available Nitrogen during April-August. To supply additional Nitrogen to ryegrass, fertilising with a Nitrogen-rich fertiliser makes sound economic sense.

Nitrogen Fertilisers
There are a number of Nitrogen-based fertilizers available on the market, however it is important to use products with a proven track record containing high levers of Nitrogen. For example, Urea (containing 46% Nitrogen) can be used in a very cost effective manner to produce additional winter feed.  Responses from urea from application in winter range from 300-800 kg additional dry matter/ha. The most effective rates of urea are typically 85 kg/ha (or 35 kg N/ha) to increase winter pasture production. Apply to pastures with re-growth of around 1500 kg Dry Matter (DM)/ha (4-5 cm height). Do not allow pastures to become rank¸ as these pastures will become inefficient at using the applied Nitrogen. Avoid application of Nitrogen fertiliser for more than 2 years, as pastures tend to become grass dominant.

Preliminary field trials conducted in the Braidwood area last year with the new line of Loveland products (available exclusively through Landmark), including Maximum N Pact  (containing 24% Nitrogen) produced some very encouraging results. Application of Maximum N Pact (at 10 L/ha) & Nutrisync M (at 365 mL/ha) to a phalaris-based perennial pasture in 2013 outperformed both gibberellic acid & liquid Nitrogen fertilizer (UAN). The combination of Maximum N Pact & Nutrisync M resulted in an extra 110% winter forage grown. Further trials will be conducted with these products on Italian ryegrass, but the initial findings are encouraging.

Remember, when choosing a ryegrass paddock for Nitrogen fertilizer topdressing, ensure:

  1. High levels of improved pasture species, such as ryegrass (in particular),
  2. Good history of Superphosphate use – there is no point in applying N to boost pasture growth if Sulphur or Phosphorus is lacking;
  3. Good soil moisture levels, but avoid areas prone to waterlogging;
  4. Low weed burden;
  5. Avoid light textured soils prone to leaching.

Dry matter responses to Nitrogen fertilizer, such as urea & Maximum N Pact are quick – typically 4-6 weeks after topdressing. Do not graze within 2-3 weeks of application due to the potential for nitrate poisoning of livestock at this stage.

ProGibb SG
In addition to urea, ProGibb SG offers an alternative option for increasing winter feed.  Essentially a naturally occurring hormone (40 % gibberellic acid), ProGibb was originally sold into the horticultural market to promote desirable harvest effects (e.g. fruit thinning, elongation and ripening in grapes and citrus).  However, it was also found to promote cell elongation, division and hence, DM production in pasture grasses in winter, due to low production of gibberellic acid during the colder winter months.  In summary:

  1. Application rates: 20 g/ha + wetter for ryegrass.
  2. Apply 100 L/ha of spraymix by boomspray;
  3. A pasture base of at least 1000 kg DM/ha is recommended before application;
  4. Apply only to pastures which are at least 12 months old;
  5. as with urea, grass species are more responsive to ProGibb than broadleaf or clover species;
  6. typical response of an additional 500-700 kg DM/ha (similar to urea) have been recorded with no loss in feed quality;
  7. response can be seen within 7 days, lasting about 21 days (subject to adequate soil moisture and nutrients).  In comparison, responses to urea will take 2-3 weeks, with the peak in response occurring 6-8 weeks after application;
  8. ProGibb can also be used in combination with urea for a greater growth response. The two products applied together have a synergistic effect;
  9. After application, rest the paddock for up to 21 days.  You can then follow up with a further application every 3-4 weeks after the initial application to maximise winter growth of selected paddocks on the farm;
  10. Best results when ambient temps are 6-15 oC (e.g. June-August).  Application during heavy frosty periods should be avoided;
  11. Very cost competitive @ approx. $1/g or up to $20/ha + application costs, compared to urea @$70/ha + spreading;
  12. It is an organically certified product with a nil grazing withholding period.
  13. can be tank mixed with insecticides & selected herbicides.

For further information on strategic fertilizer and ProGibb use for increased winter pasture growth, call Landmark Daniel Walker today to arrange an on site appraisal of your situation with their consulting agronomist Roger Garnsey.

MAXIMISING WINTER CROP GROWTH

First Published May 2015

With the excellent autumn break, growers in the local area have been establishing winter fodder crops, such as Italian ryegrass & forage oats this autumn. These crops have established well & many are now almost advanced enough to be grazed.  With the onset of the colder months, soil Nitrogen often becomes limiting as soil microbial activity.

ProGibb SG; In addition to urea, ProGibb SG can also be used for increasing winter feed.  In summary:

  1. Application rates: 20 g/ha + wetter for ryegrass.
  2. Apply 100 L/ha of spraymix by boomspray;
  3. A base of at least 1000 kg DM/ha recommended
  4. Grass species are more responsive to ProGibb than broadleaf or clover species;
  5. Typical response of an additional 500-700 kg DM/ha (similar to urea) have been recorded with no loss in feed quality;
  6. Responses can be seen within 7 days, lasting about 21 days.
  7. Can be used in combination with urea for greater growth response due to a synergistic effect;
  8. After application, rest the paddock for up to 21 days. Then follow up with a further application every 3-4 weeks.
  9. Best results when ambient temps are 6-15o
  10. Cost competitive @ approx. $1/g or up to $20/ha + application costs.
  11. Organically certified with nil grazing withholding
  12. Can be tank mixed with insecticides herbicides.

For further information on strategic fertilizer and ProGibb use for increased winter pasture growth, call Landmark Daniel Walker today to arrange an on site appraisal of your situation with their consulting agronomist Roger Garnsey.

 

ACID SOIL RESEARCH UPDATE

First Published  May 2016

Findings from a NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) project supported by GRDC call into question current liming practices.

Following poor nodulation of a faba bean crop grown near Holbrook, investigation by NSW DPI researchers suggest surface-applied lime may not be correcting soil pH at depth. Testing of the soils at the Holbrook site showed that surface-applied lime, which is not incorporated, has very little effect below the surface layers. The common practice of lime application with minimal incorporation may not adequately increase soil pH in the rooting zone to ensure establishment and persistence of key pasture species, including lucerne, clover, phalaris, ryegrass & tall fescue.

Based on these initial findings, growers should implement a cropping rotation to offset the cost of liming whilst controlling weeds before establishing a perennial pasture. Ideally, liming should occur early in the cropping phase to assist in the incorporation of liming products & to gain any yield benefit. In this way, the impact of pH stratification on the nodulation of legume species will be minimized and the establishment, root growth and persistence of those pasture species sensitive to acid soils will be greatly improved.

Source: Grasslands Society of NSW Inc.

For further information, call Landmark Daniel Walker or their consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey on 0429625880.

MAKING SURE YOUR LEGUMES ARE FIXING N

First Published May 2017

Effective legume nodulation is vital to maximize pasture productivity. A well-functioning legume can fix 20-30 kg Nitrogen (N)/t dry matter, or up to 200 kg N/ha. A recent survey of over 60 paddocks in the Central West and Riverina by NSW DPI & Local Land Services showed more than 90 per cent of paddocks had inadequate levels of nodulation.. Several aspects appear to be constraining legume nodulation, including:

  • Soil acidity: Lime soils if soil pHCaCl <5.0, or Aluminium >5%;
  • Maintain optimum soil fertility: Apply Phosphorus if levels are dropping below critical (~P Col of 30 mg/kg, check PBI), or apply Sulphur if levels are low (i.e. aim for S KCl40 8-10 mg/kg). Accurate soil testing is required to determine fertility levels;
  • Apply Mo fertiliser every 3 to 4 years (particularly on acidic soils);
  • Be aware of residues and plant back periods.

It is important to check you paddocks for legume nodulation. This involves digging up & washing clover plants in late winter/early spring to check for evidence of effective nodulation. As a guide, adequate nodulation would be 20-30 small nodules/plant combined with 3-4 large pink nodules. If legumes are not nodulating effectively, plant nodules can be tested for bacteria identification & re-inoculation of pastures may be required.

 

For further details on legume nodulation or testing of your legume samples, contact Landmark Daniel Walker or their consulting agronomist, Roger Garnsey on 0429625880.

GRAZING TRIAL EXPERIMENT HIGHLIGHTS PRINCIPLES OF PASTURE MANAGEMENT
First Published  May 2013

From July 2000 to December 2006, a pasture trial conducted on the Northern Tablelands has highlighted that the basic principles of pasture management still apply. The following treatments were applied at a moderate scale (53 ha per farmlet) to investigate the influence of increased pasture inputs & grazing management on pasture performance & farm profitability:
·         Farmlet A: higher input system, using a flexible rotational grazing system & Prograze principles over 8 paddocks.
·         Farmlet B, classed as the ‘typical’ farm: moderate level of soil fertility. A flexible rotational grazing system was implemented & Prograze principles over 8 paddocks (as for Farmlet A).
·         Farmlet C: moderate level of soil fertility combined with a more intensive rotational grazing system over 37 paddocks.
The outcomes after 6 years under each treatment can be summarised as follows:

Treatment

Outcome after 6 years of management

Farmlet A

  • As the level of sown perennial grasses rose on this farm, the proportion of warm season grasses declined (due to increased soil fertility & pasture sowing);
    ·      Increased cool season species, legumes & herbs due to higher Phosphorus levels;
    ·      Pasture renovation + increased soil fertility increased animal production/head & animal production/ha;
    ·      Stocking rate was increased under this regime by over 40%;
    ·      Pasture renovation at a rate of 4% produced optimum economic outcomes over the long term;
    ·      Sown perennial pastures need to be maintained for long term survival – up to 25 years, through strong legume content/adequate soil fertility, choosing persistent perennial grasses & careful grazing management to avoid overgrazing;
    ·      Farm A had the highest gross margin but its cash flow was less than Farmlets B or C due to demands on pasture establishment & fertiliser use. However, this Farmlet had potential to be more profitable than the others over the longer term but with a higher level of risk.

Farmlet B

  • Pastures have become degraded, with a greater number of thistles & evidence of more ‘patchy’ grazing;
    ·      Low legume & protein content in pasture;
    ·      Best cash flow results for the 6 years – less expenditure on capital & maintenance. However, the question remains – what would happen to farm profitability as pastures continue to declining pastures over a longer period of time?

Farmlet C

  • Improved intestinal worm control;
    ·      Low legume & protein content in pasture;
    ·      Retained most of its sown perennial grasses, it showed a similar increase in warm season grasses to that on Farmlet B;
    ·      Intensive rotational grazing did not increase overall productivity compared to the typical management

Acknowledgements: J. Scott, University of New England. From Grasslands Society of NSW.

 

CONTROLLING BARLEY GRASS IN PERENNIAL PASTURES THIS YEAR
First Published  May 2012

With the excellent autumn break, annual weeds, such as barley grass, will emerge as a major competitor in our pastures this year. Whilst this annual provides valuable winter grazing, it culminates in high seed head production in spring. This causes its own set of problems, as livestock (in particular, sheep) productivity is affected through fleece and eye damage.
Species:
Barley grass originated from the Mediterranean, south-west Europe & parts of Asia. There are four main species of barley grass:
1. Barley grass (Critesion murinum subspecies glaucum & leporinum): this is what farmers will commonly see in pastures & crops;
2. Sea barley grass (Critesion marinum): grows on salt affected areas of grazing land, salty marshes & coastal areas;
3. Critesion hystrix: prefers silty loams & clay soils;
4. Knotted barley grass (Critesion secalinum): a perennial (unlike the other species which are annuals), mainly located in southern Victoria.
Habitat:
Barley grass is predominantly a weed of higher fertility soils. It can compete strongly after a clover/Lucerne phase in an annual pasture system where there is a large build-up of soil Nitrogen – hence its dominance on stock camps. Barley grass can also tolerate conditions of water stress better than many other species &, being an annual, avoids the summer heat. On the other hand, perennial grasses will be selectively grazed over the summer. Combine this with water stress & a decline of perennial pasture density in the sward occurs. This reduces the pasture’s ability to compete with annual weeds, like barley grass, which enables the undesirable annuals to obtain a strong hold.
Control
There are several control options & sometimes the best approach is the adoption of more than one strategy:
1. Chemical control: for established perennial grass/clover pastures consider one of the following:
• Simazine/gramoxone mix after heavy grazing with sheep to reduce pasture to a uniform ‘bowling green’ height. This method provides very reliable results for a broad range of annual grass (including silver grass) & broadleaf weeds (if tank mixed with MCPA) if the paddock is correctly grazed (heavily) prior to herbicide application. Pastures take
6-8 weeks to recover, so winter dry matter production is severely retarded. For use in phalaris/cocksfoot/clover pastures. Reduce herbicide rates in more sensitive tall fescue-based pastures.
• Raptor: provides excellent selective control of barley grass (but only suppression of silver grass) without the need for heavy grazing prior to herbicide application. Raptor will also provide some control of small broadleaf weeds (e.g. erodium, shepherd’s purse, wireweed, mustard weed). Pastures take 6-8 weeks to recover, so winter dry matter production is severely retarded. For use in phalaris/cocksfoot/clover pastures. Raptor is not recommended for application to tall fescue-based pastures as it can severely retard growth.
2. Grazing management: a period of deferred grazing (e.g. during autumn/early winter) is suggested initially which causes the weed to produce fewer tillers with their growing points higher off the ground. Once this has been achieved, apply heavy grazing whereby stock remove the growing point, resulting in tiller death & reduced seed formation. However, grazing pressure must be maintained to minimise the growth of new tillers & more seed heads (particularly in spring which is not always easy!).
REMEMBER: Barley grass is not very hard seeded. So if seed production can be reduced in one year, the amount of barley grass produced in the following year will also be greatly reduced. For further information on selective control of annual grasses, such as barley grass, this winter, please give Landmark Daniel Walker a call to arrange a chat with their consulting agronomist Roger Garnsey.