Excellent fat-hen control highlights CONVISO® system strengths
Steven Brummitt showing Fat Hen which had come through the classical herbicide programme whilst the CONVISO® ONEtreated area to the right of the photo is clean
The opportunity to consider the performance of the CONVISO® ONE (foramsulfuron + thiencarbazone) herbicide on a heavily weed-infested field was enough to persuade Steven Brummitt to sow 10-hectares of the ALS-tolerant variety SMART JANNINKA KWS as a demonstration field on behalf of KWS.
“We are fortunate that our weed beet issues are limited to just a few fields, but the loss of desmedipham and concerns over the future of several other herbicides does concern me. So when better to measure the performance of CONVISO® ONE when we still have Betannal maxxPro (desmedipham + ethofumesate + lenacil + phenmedipham) to serve as the benchmark for control?,” says Mr Brummitt, manager at George E Gittus & Sons, near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
The potential time saving from making fewer spray passes thanks to the CONVISO® SMART system is something we would value highly
Weed control performance may have been the main reason to investigate the CONVISO® SMART system, but the potential benefits of the system were also of interest.
“March and April are our busiest months of the year, so the potential time saving from making fewer spray passes thanks to the CONVISO® SMART system is something we would value highly,” he says.
To assess the weed control performance, Mr Brummitt sowed the crop in mid-March as per KWS’s advice and then divided the mainland into four sections based on 36-metre tramlines with each part receiving a different herbicide programme. These were:
CONVISO® ONE; CONVISO® ONE followed by Betannal maxxPro + Goltix; CONVISO® ONE + oil; and Betannal maxxPro + a pre- and post-emergence application of Goltix (metamitron).
“The crop got going extremely well with near complete establishment which is more than was managed by some other crops on the farm.” The dry period that followed drilling however, forced a change to the intended programme.
“The standard programme had to be adapted to include a second application of Betannal maxxPro. This was partly due to the anticipated weed pressure on this part of the field which was sown to game cover the previous season, but also the dry spring continued far longer than we could have foreseen and consequently this required an extended period of weed control. As a result, the CONVISO® ONE tramline also received an application of Betannal maxxPro.”
To some this may mean the CONVISO® ONE herbicide wasn’t given a true test and while Mr Brummitt concedes there is perhaps some truth in this, he believes the weed population that has since emerged suggests CONVISO® ONE offers a level of performance that extends beyond classical chemistry.
“The demonstration field has a significant weed beet and fat-hen burden as well as black-bindweed, white campion and groundsel. All treatments, however, were timed around fat-hen. Except for fat-hen all weeds have been well controlled, but the control of fat-hen varies widely between treatments with the control achieved in the CONVISO® ONE tramline visibly better than that elsewhere in the field.
“When I look at other sugar beet crops around the farm and even across East Anglia, it is evident that fat-hen has been a difficult weed to control this season, so while the overall control achieved is disappointing, the control delivered by CONVISO® ONE convinces me that it has the potential to improve weed control while its residual performance exceeds that seen with other soil-acting products,” says Mr Brummitt.