Dock control Docks are one of the most important weeds on grassland farms to control, with each seedling plant giving off 80,000 seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for up to 50 years! This means there are millions, if not billions, of seeds in a hectare of grassland. One of the keys to successful control is to never let weeds seed, ‘one year’s seed is seven years weed’. In reseeds, it is vital weeds are tackled at an early stage before they have a chance to smother the new grass seedlings and reduce the life expectancy of a new ley.
Dock control in established swards can be key to extending its productive life. It is not uncommon to see swards with 5% to 30% dock cover, which will affect grassland performance. For cattle and sheep grazing land, Forefront T is the most effective product to control docks.
On silage, hay and grazing ground, Doxstar Pro can be used on docks, ideally when docks are a dinner plate size across and before they have sent a central spike upwards. September is a good time to apply dock spray, as the plant translocation of solutions is down towards the roots to build up reserves to survive the winter.
The table below shows the main weed problems and solutions in established grass and new leys.
Why control weeds in grassland?
• Weed control in an autumn reseed is vital • Weeds reduce yields of high-performance grassland by competing for space, light, nutrients and water • Weeds are unpalatable to stock • Weeds can spread to neighbouring fields or properties • Weedy pastures look untidy and unkempt • Livestock performance at grazing or fed on silage is reduced and can become uneconomic • In established grassland, once weeds have been controlled bare patches need to be overseeded to prevent further weed establishment • Weed control in reseeds is vital to increase the percentage of sown species that establish and prolong the life of the ley.
For more information, please contact Graham Ragg, BASIS and FACTS Qualified Advisor, on 07798 583667.