Give new pasture a headstart
Spray contractors Kevin and Andrew Fry (K & A Fry Contracting) recommend Headstart for weed control in new pasture. They’ve used the product extensively over the last two to three seasons, seeing safe and consistent control of a range of broadleaf weeds in new pasture.
Established in 2002, K & A Fry Contracting are long term agri-contractors in the Nelson area, offering hay silage, groundwork, feed conservation and spraying services. They operate with a team of six full-time staff.
The Fry’s also have 100 hectares (ha) of crops under irrigation, growing maize for PGG Wrightson Seed and lucerne for bailage, plus 11 ha of hops.
PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative, Andrew Young works closely with Andrew Fry, both on-farm and in the contracting business.
“Andrew (Young) is top notch for both service and knowledge. We constantly ring him for advice when we’re out on a job. We probably talk to him daily about spraying,” says Andrew Fry.
“He knows what he’s talking about and gives us sound advice. He’s quick to respond and, if there’s something he’s not sure about, he’s upfront in telling us that he needs to do some research first.”
Andrew Young recommended Headstart for buttercup control initially, but notes the product has several other benefits.
“Headstart is safe on clover and young pasture. Where other herbicides may have a negative impact on pasture swards, Headstart doesn’t.”
Containing 50 grams per litre flumetsulam, Headstart is active via the inhibition of an enzyme which is essential for amino acid production. Tolerant species like grasses and clover metabolise flumetsulam, thus making it safe.
“For Kevin and Andrew, it’s an efficient solution. Where it’s normally necessary to add a spraying oil, Headstart is pre-mixed. It doesn’t require tank mixing with crop oils or wetting agents so is not only simple to use but requires them to carry a lot less containers around.”
Andrew Fry agrees that Headstart is an easy solution. “The simple application ratio (1 L per hectare) means there’s no complicated ratios to think about and it saves us time.
Headstart is best applied when weeds are small and in active growth. “Once weeds are in flower, it’s too late,” he says.
“It is a great product for covering a wide range of weeds,” according to Andrew. “We’ve seen good results with buttercup and it is excellent for post-emergence spraying in new pasture. I believe Headstart gives better nodding thistle control too and controls weeds in lucerne and chicory crops.”