Farmers who have treated pasture with Forefront® T (contains aminopyralid and triclopyr), this year are reminded of the need to pay attention to restrictions on its use, and how treated grass may be subsequently used.
Forefront T is the herbicide of choice for a high level of control of long-established, high populations of tough-to-control weeds such as docks, thistles, buttercups, ragwort, dandelions and nettles. However, it is only recommended for treating grassland being grazed by cattle or sheep.
A further label restriction is that treated grass should not be conserved as hay or silage. This is because minute quantities of herbicide will be in the conserved crop. When this is fed to animals and the subsequent manure generated is used in commercial fields, gardens or allotments, certain crops – notably potatoes, tomatoes, peas and beans, which are very susceptible to herbicides, will exhibit abnormal growth effects and cropping potential may be reduced.
The potential for such a problem is greatest if hay is fed to horses and ponies, as manure is frequently collected from field and stable, then made available for use on gardens and allotments. Farmers are urged to ensure this does not happen.
If hay or silage has inadvertently been made from grass treated with Forefront T, it must stay on the farm of origin and any manure resulting from feeding must also stay on the same farm.
Forefront T is the most effective solution against the challenge of perennial weeds in grazing pastures. To keep solutions like this available it is vital that pesticide product labels are read in full and stewardship direction, given by a BASIS qualified adviser, adhered to.