Science Into Practice - Alternative herbicides for narcissus

The narcissus crop is grown for three or more years. Weeds reduce yield and quality of flowers (and bulbs), interfere with picking and bulb lifting, may delay maturity and have the potential to introduce pests and disease into the crop (some weeds are hosts of the stem nematode). Achieving a high level of weed control is therefore extremely important to Bulb growers.

Reduced herbicide availability will result in weedy crops. The crop loss depends on weed species present, but if weed cover prevents picking narcissus flowers or lifting and sorting bulbs because weeds clog machinery, crop loss will be 100 per cent. Although a desiccant is used to kill green weeds before bulb-lifting, any woody stems remaining of large established species (even mayweeds) wrap round the lifting machinery and cause extreme difficulty.

Project BOF 73 set out to identify alternative herbicides for weed control in narcissus crops with potential for specific off-label approvals following the loss or restriction of active ingredients such as metazachlor (Butisan S).

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

HDC Narcissus Technical Seminar, Duchy College, Camborne, Cornwall, 5 May

To book, email E:Kirsty.nichols@hdc.ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 647 8677.

HDC Bulbs Panel Meeting, Spalding, 17 May

Technical matters: call 0247 647 8882 or email debbie.wilson@hdc.ahdb.org.uk. Communication matters: call 01732 897474 or email wayne.brough@hdc.ahdb.org.uk.

GrowSave Second Annual Conference, Warwick, 18 May

For details, email growsave@farmenergy.com or call 024 7669 6512.

Horticultural Development Company

For details on all HDC activity, visit www.hdc.org.uk


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