The use of the residual herbicide Avadex is expected to increase this autumn, as growers grapple to resolve blackgrass issues, according to crop production firm Gowan. Charlotte Cunningham reports.

According to the firm, Avadex usage has increased year on year for the past eight years and demand is expected to increase once again this autumn.  “Avadex (triallate) applied pre-emergence is regarded as the
essential start to any black-grass programme in cereals,” explains Dominic Lamb, country head for UK and Ireland for Gowan. “Its use in a programme along with flufenacet-based herbicide can add on average 15% control of this very difficult and competitive grass-weed.”

The increased uptake of granular application by contractors has also plaid an important role in the growth of the herbicide, he adds. “Gowan continue to maintain a current list of contractors, listed by counties, on their website.”

Calibrate correctly

To get the best from Avadex granules, it is vital that the applicator is calibrated correctly when applying 15kg/ha and that the granules are applied evenly across the boom width, says Dominic. “The correct amount of herbicide granule must be delivered down each pipe and a patternation test carried out along with the calibration. Black-grass is such a competitive weed that accurate and even application is essential.”

Blackgrass remains the scourge of most arable farmers and together with cultural control methods, the firm claims Avadex and flufenacet-herbicides in the herbicide stack would be the most popular start to control in winter wheat and winter barley. “Avadex granules are approved for use in winter and spring wheat, winter barley and spring barley, with EAMUs for winter rye and triticale, winter and spring linseed, Canary grass and Miscanthus.”

Broad leaf control

In a programme it adds to the overall blackgrass control as well as having an effect on wild-oats, rye-grass and brome species, he adds. “Avadex also has some effect on key broad leaf weeds including cleavers, charlock, chickweed, poppy, field pansy, speedwell, forget-me-now, fumitory, mayweeds and red deadnettle.”

Dominic urges contractors to be ready and sufficiently tooled up to satisfy the increasing demand for Avadex granules this autumn. “This is a call to arms – farmers should think about booking their contractor sooner rather than later and contractors need to be ready to get going.”