Hunt begins for dock infested pastures
How are your fields for docks?
Dow AgroSciences is on the lookout for grass fields with a high number of docks for a new initiative being launched next year.
The aim is to show farmers that by selecting the right herbicide and applying it correctly, even the most weed-infested pastures can be rejuvenated, with high and lasting dock control, without the need to establish a new-sown ley.
On selected farms, weed experts from the company will assess the extent of the problem, recommend a solution for a nominal area, and supply herbicide products as required. In many cases an area will be left unsprayed, to highlight the efficacy of the treatment.
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"Docks out-compete grass for nutrients and moisture and have just 65% of the feed value of grass," said Dow's grassland agronomist David Roberts. "A 20% dock population leads to a 20% loss in grass dry matte. This could mean losing 2.2 tonnes of grass dry matter per hectare, capable of producing more than 4,500 litres of milk per hectare a year, or 660kg of liveweight gain per hectare a year in beef and lamb production. So it is definitely worth getting on top of the problem.
"However, weed control has to be done correctly, at the right time and stage of growth to achieve long-term control. We hope these demo sites will show farmers how this can be done successfully."
Farmers with very bad dock infestations in their grass who would like to take part, should contact David Roberts on 01462 426671.