Weed control: More maize without the extras

The yield potential of maize is influenced by a variety of factors. Production technology is a decisive component alongside the variety choice and the conditions at the location. In this case, the use ofherbicides herbicides plays a very important part. Ultimately, the primary focus in the field is to eliminate competition to the maize safely and quickly.

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If the use of soil herbicides is insufficient due to dryness or a delayed usage date then this must be enhanced using leaf-active products.Weed control: More maize without the extras
If the use of soil herbicides is insufficient due to dryness or a delayed usage date then this must be enhanced using leaf-active products.

Cultivation of maize with mulch sowing procedures is widespread; a successful catch crop in autumn creates sound conditions for a good seedbed. New systems such as "Strip-Till Strip-Till" or supporting the creation of ecological priority areas have meant that the cultivation of catch crops before maize is more widespread. Generally, catch crops promote condition of the soil, store nutrients in autumn so it is provided to the maize. However, after a very mild winter such as this year, the conditions are not really ideal. In many areas the catch crops are not completely frozen. Delayed sowing times and seed doses that are too low in autumn mean that weeds and volunteer grain cannot be suppressed. This old weed infestation is currently on many areas that should soon be sown with maize. In plough-less cultivation methods, it is necessary to adjust the use of herbicides accordingly.

Optimal conditions for sowing

Volunteer grain and old weeds must be eradicated before sowing maize. Using conventional cultivation methods this can be done when ploughing early in the year. Conservative soil management means that this is not quite as simple when processing depth is reduced. The use of a complete herbicide such as Taifun forte is practically indispensable for a clean seedbed. Planted volunteer grain or catch crops that were not frozen must be treated with the full quantity needed in order to achieve a suitable effect. Preparation of the seedbed takes place between ten to fourteen days later, creating optimal conditions for sowing and subsequent weed control in maize. Maize herbicides are often provided as packed solutions in various combinations. Generally, soil herbicides are supplemented using leaf-active products. Early usage dates are required for both spraying sequences and one-off usage in order to achieve high effectiveness with good cultural compatibility. Products from the group of sulfonylurea herbicides must be included for a better effect against grass weeds, or must be correspondingly added and then re-applied.

Marketing either individually or in combination

An innovation is available for the upcoming season regarding maize herbicides: The product MaisTer power belongs to the sulfonylurea herbicides and is the successor to MaisTer liquid. It contains an additional active ingredient that improves soil action and also the scope of such action. It must be used up until the 6-leaf stage in maize, and the full quantity requirement is 1.5 litres per hectare. The product is marketed individually or in combination with the soil partner as MaisTer power-Aspect pack, in this case the full quantity requirement is 1.5 litres + 1.5 litres per hectare. MaisTer really shows its capabilities against black grass, especially when used as a stand-alone product as a follow-up.

Maize must not be weakened.

Sulfonyl urea herbicides such as MaisTer power, Motivell forte, Milagro forte, or Cato are generally considered to be critical in terms of cultural compatibility. For this reason, earlier usage dates are beneficial as the maize is somewhat smaller and does not have to absorb and process as much herbicide compared to later dates. In addition, many factors limit the use of sulfonyl herbicides or lead to considerably reduced yields if not observed. The maize should have a good layer of wax and not be weakened by a lack of nutrients, waterlogging, dryness, or frost. Furthermore, daily maximum temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius should not be exceeded, large fluctuations of over 20 degrees Celsius between day and night should also be avoided. If these aspects cannot be adhered to, then considerable yield losses are to be feared. In small plot experiments yield losses of between five and ten percent were discovered, depending on the situation and variety response.

Higher yields due to better tolerance

There's an additional innovation for the season at locations where millet grows. The Laudis + Spectrum Gold combination is a powerful solution against different types of millet. Approval suffices up to the 8-leaf stage of maize, the quantity requirement is 2.0 litres + 2.0 litres per hectare. After the Clio products have not been re-approved, this package from Laudis and Spectrum Gold is the strongest version without sulfonyl that can combat all millet types. In terms of a safe effect and sound tolerance of maize herbicides, splitting applications or follow-up sprays are preferred to the classic one-off treatment. Particularly in dry years such as 2015, the effects of soil herbicides can be enhanced when distributed over two applications. Triketone such as Calaris or Laudis also benefit from this. The quantity of herbicide is not increased in total, just the second application renders the procedure more expensive. However, this is compensated for with higher yields due to greater tolerance.

Precipitation encourages success

Over the last few years, wild geraniums have developed into a problem weed, and not just in cultivating maize. However, wild geraniums can be eliminated relatively safely if a few fundamental aspects are borne in mind. To start off, old weeds must be eliminated. After sowing, many active ingredients in soil herbicides, such as terbuthylazine, achieve high levels of effectiveness with solid quantity requirements. In order for it to succeed, it must be used in the pre-emergence process or in the early stages of post-emergence. A moist seedbed and subsequent precipitation encourage success. If this measure is insufficient due to dryness or a delayed usage date then this must be enhanced using leaf-active products. MaisTer power provides considerable potential with high quantity requirements. Triketone such as Laudis or Calaris are no longer sufficient at these late points in time.

More information regarding the topic of maize herbicides can be obtained from Reinhold Wintergalen, tel. +49 - 173 7203065, reinhold.wintergalen@agravis.de.