Lucerne
Technical
Insight 502

WEED CONTROL IN LUCERNE

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INTRODUCTION

Good weed control is essential for high lucerne yields and good stand life.  Weeds can also affect the palatability and feed value of lucerne silage and hay and can harbour insect pests.

Lucerne weed control can be split into two distinct periods – weed control during establishment and weed control during the productive life of the stand. During establishment it is critical to control all weeds since they can negatively impact stand density. Note that while some herbicides can be used in both establishing lucerne and mature stands, some of the chemicals used for weed control during the establishment phase are different to those used in mature stands.

For established stands, herbicide selection should be based on weed species present so be constantly alert to changing weed problems and their densities in the field. The ideal time to check for weeds is during the late autumn to early spring when lucerne growth rate is low. The decision to use herbicides for weed control in established lucerne should be based on the amount and type of weeds present and the lucerne stand density.  Mowing prevents weed seed production and causes perennial weeds to grow from roots.  Repeated mowing can suppress some persistent weeds by gradually reducing their root reserves.

There are a range of herbicides available for weed control in lucerne. Details of herbicide options for control of a range of weeds can be found below. Please note that neither the list of weeds controlled nor the list of herbicides registered for use on lucerne is exhaustive. These tables are intended as a guideline only. Always refer to an agricultural chemical manual and read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to herbicide use.  Often a broader range of weed species can be controlled using a tank-mixed combination of two or more herbicides. Refer to your Pioneer Area Manager, seed merchant or chemical company representative for further advice.

When using any herbicides, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for rate and timing of application and product mixing carefully. Ensure that empty containers are disposed of as recommended by the manufacturer. Also ensure that any product withholding periods are carefully observed.

In the following tables weed control is split into broadleaf weed and grass weed control.

HERBICIDES FOR BROADLEAF WEED CONTROL

  pre_plant post_app
  trifluralin bentazone classic chlorprophan chlorprophan paraquat kerb flo metribuzin preside simazine spinnaker2 terbuthy-lazine velpar 24db
Apple of Peru           C                
Black Nightshade   A   EC   C     TC     TC    
Buttercup           C     TC         A
Cape Weed           C                
Cats ear           C          A TC    
Chickweed C  A   EC EA C C C TC EC A TC    
Cleavers C A       C     TC   A      
Clover – red     EC     C           TC    
Clover – subt.     EC     C           TC EC  
Clover – white     EC     C           TC EC  
Cornbind C  A       C   P           A
Dandelion     EC     C         A      
Docks – seedling       EC        P     A     C
Docks – regrowth                            
Doves Foot                     A TC    
Fathen C  A   EC   C   C TC   A TC   A
Field bindweed           C               CA
Fumitory   A   EC   C   C     A      
Hawkesbeard     EC     C                
Hedge mustard           C     TC   A     C
Inkweed           C                
Mallow (marsh)           C     TC   A      
Mayweed           C                
Mouse-eared chickweed            C         A   EC  
Nettle C A       C   C           A
Penny cress   A       C                
Plantain           C   C           A
Redroot C A       C   C       TC   A
Scarlet pimpernell C A       C                
Shepherds purse   A  EC      C   C TC  EC A  TC EC A
Sorrell             C   TC   A      
Scambling speedwell        EC EA C       EC        
Spurrey C A   EC   C C C TC   A      
Stinking mayweed           C   C TC          
Storksbill   TA     EA C   C   EA A TC EC  
Thistle-Californian               PA        TC    
Thistle-nodding   TA       C           TC EC A
Thistle-Scotch           C           TC   A
Thistle-sow           C   P       TC   A
Thorn apple   A       C                
Twin cress       EC EA C   C     A      
Vetch           C                
Wild carrot           C                
Wild radish   A       C   C TC          
Wild turnip   A       C   C           A
Willow weed   A   EC   C   C TC   A TC   A
Wireweed C     EC   C   C TC   A     A
Yarrow                     A      

 

HERBICIDES FOR GRASS WEED CONTROL

  pre_plant post app
   trifluralin  chlorprophan chlorprophan  gallant  paraquat  kerb flo  metribuzin  simazine  spinnaker2  terbuthy-lazine  velpar
Barley grass     TC   C C   EC   EC  
Barnyard grass C     C C   C        
Bristle grass C     C C            
Browntop     TA C C C       EC EC
Cereal volunteers       C C            
Cocksfoot       C P C   EP   EC  
Couch       C              
Creeping bent         C            
Crowsfoot grass         C            
Fescues         P            
Green bristle grass         C            
Hair grass     TC   C            
Indian doab       C  C            
Kikuyu       C              
Knawed canary grass         C            
Lesser canary grass         C            
Mercer grass       C C            
Paspalum   EC   C              
Poa annua C EC TC C C C   EC A EC  EC
Poa pratensis          C C  EC        
Prairie grass       C C C   EP   EC  
Ryegrass – annual   EC   C C C   EP   EC  
Ryegrass – perennial        C C C          
Rough bristle grass       C C C          
Soft brome grass       C C C P        
Summer grass C     C C   P        
Wild oats C     C C       A    
Witch grass C       C            
Yellow bristle grass         C            
Yorkshire fog       C C C   EP A EC  

KEY TO TABLES

#  May need to be tank mixed (see manufacturers instructions).
C  Weed is well controlled.
A  Weed is controlled in the seedling stage only.
P Limited control of weed.
* Use on established stands only.

Please note:  Neither the list of weed controlled nor the list of herbicides registered for use on lucerne is exhaustive. These tables are intended as a guideline only. Always refer to an agricultural chemical manual and read the manufacturer’s instructions prior to herbicide use.  Often a broader range of weed species can be controlled using a tank-mixed combination of two or more herbicides. Refer to you Pioneer Area Manager, seed merchant or chemical company representative.



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The information in this publication is general in nature only. Although the information in this publication is believed to be accurate, no liability (whether as a result of negligence or otherwise) is accepted for any loss of any kind that may arise from actions based on the contents of this publication.

© 2017, Genetic Technologies Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior written consent from Genetic Technologies Limited.

Revised: June 2015
Expires: June 2018