As the weather turns warmer, maize growers are getting primed and ready to drill this year’s crop and, just like cereals, final maize yields rely heavily on giving the plant the best start.

However, poor weed control can jeopardise this – with losses of up to 50% at harvest seen in severe situations.

So what can growers do to minimise the risk of yield-robbing weeds?

“The foundation of any good crop is a good seedbed,” explains Stuart Harder, technical account specialist at Belchim. “This boosts seed-to-soil contact to ensure maximum emergence of the crop.

“But even the best start can be hampered by weeds, with pressures varying from farm-to-farm and target weeds depending on the type of maize you’re growing.”

Though pre-emergence products are often contentious as their efficacy can be affected by dry weather, Stuart believes that they can still act as a good insurance policy. “We know how catchy UK weather patterns can be and in a worst case scenario it can limit, or even wipe out, important spray windows. However, pre-em herbicide applications can help to sensitise difficult weeds and provide flexibility if post-emergence application is delayed.”

Within the main programme, targeting the correct growth stage of weeds is important for optimising control levels, explains Stuart. “Product-wise, it’s important to choose something with good activity against the most problematic weeds on your farm.

“But for a wide-spectrum of control, Belchim has a number of core products in its portfolio which can provide solutions to all major weed issues within the maize crop.”

Fornet 6OD and Samson Extra

Containing nicosulfuron, both Fornet 6OD and Samson Extra are two products designed for tackling grassweed issues, explains Stuart.

“They’re active on a wide range of weeds – including cockspur and foxtails – and can be used at up to 8-true leaves, providing flexibility in application timing. It also provides control of some broadleaf weeds too, like fat-hen, mayweeds and redshank.”

Temsa SC

For those specifically looking for broadleaf weed control, Temsa SC contains mesotrione and provides residual activity against a wide spectrum of challenging weeds like fat-hen, chickweed and oilseed rape volunteers, adds Stuart.


If you’re in the market for something fast-acting, contact herbicide Diva contains pyridate which is Belchim’s own active, he notes. “It quickly reduces competition from problematic weeds like chickweed, and also has no following crop restrictions. What’s more, it also offers the option for a second application for late-flushing weeds such as nightshade and fat-hen, providing growers with a flexible and effective solution.

“Many years of trials and use in the field across the UK and Europe has shown that these herbicides, nicosulfuron plus mesotrione plus pyridate, in a mix as the ‘Belchim three-way’ solution gives growers a simple and effective weed control strategy in maize,” concludes Stuart.

To find out more about Belchim’s portfolio of products, visit: