Oct. 3, 2014
The popular and helpful on-line decision support ‘traffic light’ system to aid the timing of herbicides ASTROKerb and Kerb Flo 500 is on the starting grid in UK. Uniquely data can be obtained by growers and agronomists at postcode level. This traffic light system works by reporting soil temperatures and soil moisture deficits in every individual postcode area across the UK.
“All growers have to do is to put in their postcode and the system will instantly indicate whether the conditions are appropriate to apply either ASTROKerb (propyzamide and aminopyralid) or Kerb Flo 500 (propyzamide) – just like a traffic light, if red, soil conditions are not right so don’t apply these herbicides; if amber, conditions are getting closer, so be ready to apply and if green, conditions are just right to consider an application. The system is very simple to operate but there is a lot of science and data analysis that goes into it,” explains David Roberts of Dow AgroSciences.
“It is important that Kerb Flo 500 and ASTROKerb are given the best chance to work well. This is particularly so as black-grass control in winter oilseed rape needs to be as effective as possible,” says David.
“To optimise ASTROKerb and Kerb’s performance, there are three areas to consider – soil temperature, soil moisture and weed seed depth. Soil temperatures need to be cooling - around 10ºC and falling, meaning that the herbicide is slower to breakdown and that longer persistence is achieved throughout the weed germination period. This is usually from around early November onwards.”
Germinating weed seed should not come from any deeper than 5cms as the black-grass would then be germinating from below the zone where the ASTROKerb and Kerb Flo 500 concentrations are high enough to give good levels of weed kill.
David says that if application conditions are right, farmers can expect levels of black-grass control from Kerb Flo 500 and ASTROKerb frequently well in excess of 90%, a level that very few herbicides are currently achieving in any crop.