Weed Control in Winter Barley
Reducing the competition effect of autumn germinating weeds on the winter barley crop over winter is the primary objective of an autumn herbicide application. Veronica Nyhan, Teagasc Portlaoise and Ivan Whitten, Teagasc Naas have more information on successful integrated weed management.
Reducing the competition effect of autumn germinating weeds on the winter barley crop over winter is the primary objective of an autumn herbicide application. Successful integrated weed management starts with knowing the field and knowing what your problem weeds are in advance of sowing, therefore it is critical to examine the stubbles before cultivating and to continue to monitor the crop after sowing.
From a yield robbing and combining perspective, the important broadleaf weeds to control are Cleavers, Chickweed and Speedwells; however Annual Meadow Grass is the priority, as all herbicides struggle to control it after it passes the 2 leaf stage. While pre-emergence applied herbicides provide the best control of Annual Meadow Grass, early post-emergence can be very effective if applied to a fine seed bed at the 2-3 leaf crop stage.
There are a number of individual or stacked actives available on the Irish market for weed control in winter barley- specifically Pendimethalin, Prosulfocarb, Flufenacet, Metribuzin, Diflufenican or Chlorotoluron and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. It is very important whichever product is chosen that the label is carefully followed to protect yourself, your crop and the surrounding environment.
In an era of increasing herbicide resistance and with a lack of new chemicals coming on the market, we cannot rely on a chemical solution alone to control weeds. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies, including stale seed beds, crop choice, cultivation depth, sowing date, rotation and leaving ground fallow, all play a significant role in successful weed control in cereal crops going forward.