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Managing broadleaf weeds and prolonging the life of pastures

Managing broadleaf weeds and prolonging the life of pastures

Managing broadleaf weeds and prolonging the life of pastures

Seeing broadleaf weeds such as thistles, ragwort and buttercup take hold in established pastures is concerning; they use space and resources that should be reserved for high-value sown pasture species. Broadleaf weeds multiply vigorously, reducing grazing utilisation by suppressing the growth of pasture plants.

Nufarm’s Paul Addison says now is the time to remove weeds.“Doing this in late autumn or early winter will pay off in spring, with improved pasture quality, and it is also a good investment as the weed-free pasture lasts longer.”

Several herbicide options are available, including Agritone 750, Baton 800WSG, Sprinter 700DS and Relay Super S.

Working out which one is suitable for your situation means understanding what weeds are present, so contact your local PGG Wrightson Technical Field Representative for assistance with identifying the broadleaf weeds present in pasture and selecting an appropriate herbicide.

Some general principles apply to all herbicides. The first is that these sprays can be hard on clover, but to varying degrees. “Baton is the softest for clover, closely followed by Sprinter, which is why they can be used earlier,” Paul says.

“Relay and Agritone are harder on clover, which is why we always recommend waiting until the clover is relatively dormant before applying these.”

In all cases, best practice is to graze paddocks before spraying to remove any clover foliage and expose weeds for optimal herbicide coverage.

Allow the paddock(s) a few days to freshen after grazing. Target weeds need to be actively growing and ideally small for the herbicide to work well. “It is also important to avoid spraying weeds that are frosted, moisture-stressed or waterlogged,” Paul adds.

“If weeds are not actively growing, the natural process that carries the chemical internally through the plant to kill it will not be working, so you are better off waiting.”

Remember to comply with their local regulations for phenoxy herbicide application with some regions stipulating certain time periods for these products.

To support our 2023 phenoxies season, PGG Wrightson, Nufarm and Comvita are launching a sustainability initiative for farmers called 'Doing Wright for Waterways'. This joint initiative will see a total of 100,000 manuka seedlings being given to customers when they purchase qualifying Nufarm herbicides during autumn. The seeds have been eco-sourced across 10 regions from Northland to Bluff ready for planting in August.

Manuka trees help to increase water filtration, reduce erosion and significantly reduce pathogens and nitrates leaching into waterways.

The Doing Wright for Waterways initiative is delivering 100,000 manuka seedlings to New Zealand farmers. To learn more, visit your local PGG Wrightson store.

Registered pursuant to ACVM Act 1997, Agritone 750 #P007493, Baton 800WSG #P009585, Sprinter 700DS #P008712 and Relay Super S #P007630. Always read the registered label before use.