Article •  16/08/2023

Autumn weed control in oilseed rape

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Harvest is underway, as is some oilseed rape drilling. With a lot of rain around, conditions should be good to get oilseed rape established. 

Despite continued challenges growing oilseed rape, it remains a strong break crop option, giving the opportunity to control blackgrass with another mode of action and fitting in well within a typical arable rotation e.g. early harvest and giving a good entry for winter wheat. 

With the warm and wet weather, conditions will be ripe for weeds. Switching from a preventative to reactive autumn strategy allows growers to decide on their herbicide spend after assessing the visible weed pressure plus the impact of pests.  

Targeting cleavers, cranesbill, poppy, shepherds purse and fumitory, Belkar® herbicide offers an alternative to traditional approaches which rely on pre-emergence control.   

Belkar has spearheaded a fundamental change in farmers’ strategies for controlling weeds, paving the way for a much more flexible approach to weed control in their oilseed rape. 

Belkar is a post-emergence product which allows growers to see the crop establish before deciding on their herbicide investment. It means they can tackle what is visible, and not spend on herbicides before they know how well the crop is going to emerge. 

It has a wide application window from either 1 or 15 September (depending on the rate being used) through to 31 December, making it the ideal autumn herbicide.  

There are three treatment options which Corteva says have performed best in trials. 

  • At two true leaves, an application at 0.25l/ha will take out the weeds which have germinated alongside the crop and, in some circumstances, that will be enough broad-leaved control before an application of Astrokerb® (propyzamide + aminopyralid) or similar later on. 
  • In high weed pressure situations where a second germination is visible, growers have the option of a second 0.25l/ha spray two-to-four weeks after the first application. 
  • Depending on workloads, growers can wait until six true leaves of the crop – and after 15 September – to tackle bigger weeds at a rate of 0.5l/ha which will take care of the weeds going into the autumn. 

Corteva’s range of herbicides give the opportunity to have a reliable, flexible and robust herbicide programme across a wide spectrum of weeds. They can fit into a programme based on the season and target weeds. 

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