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Growers’ thoughts are starting to turn to their spring herbicide programmes, and how to achieve the most effective control over spring weeds. Application programmes should be well thought out this year, with input costs being particularly high. Growers considering their spring herbicide applications need to maximise their effectiveness. Herbicides are relied on for the control of spring weeds, growers would find it hard to reach optimum yields by cutting them out.

An example of a common problem broad-leaf found in cereals across the country is Groundsel. It is not as competitive and doesn’t reduce yield as much when compared to some grass-weed species, however it can produce lots of seeds. If this repeats year-on-year without being controlled, then as a grower you could suddenly find yourself with a large infestation of groundsel which would then be harder to control. In turn this could also significantly impact yield.

Generally, herbicide application rates can be tailored to the size of the weeds being targeted and this can be especially effective when attempting to control groundsel, which, in good growing conditions can move through its growth stages very quickly.

Weed pressures in crops have been difficult to predict this winter due to highly variable conditions. It is always hard to predict how the weather is going to be (this is also completely out of our control as we’re all well aware!). It is important that growers stay aware of weed growth and adapt accordingly with their weed control.

Due to the high costs at play right now, it’s essential that growers resist cutting any corners with yield loss prevention, as this could create a significant problem at a later stage. Always make sure your herbicides are applied according to the labels, at the recommended rates. 

It is easy to get leaf-level data using Skippy Scout. As an aid to your usual crop walking, Skippy will provide you with in-depth crop analysis. The app will fly the drone to specific points in the field, and capture high-resolution, low-level images. You then receive a detailed crop report in your email inbox – within minutes.

Alex Macdonald Smith, C.O.O. at Drone Ag said,  “We’ve taught Skippy’s AI to look for a lot of really important things and we’re going to keep teaching it to make it more and more useful year on year. Right now Skippy’s crop analysis includes unhealthy leaf detection, crop cover percentage and Green Area Index, but one of the most important networks it employs is designed to specifically calculate weed cover percentage.

During spring growth, if you have a problem area where groundsel has taken hold, for example, and you fly a Scout Sphere over the field, Skippy will be able to find it.“

Skippy’s crop reports include weed cover percentage across the field, informing you of where weeds are present and where they are not. The imagery Skippy generates can be viewed in ultra-high-resolution on the app or within the Spheres interface, and it is of such high quality that weeds can be easily identified by eye.
Imagery & reports can also be easily shared with your agronomist via a simple web link for their own analysis and insight.

You can view crop reports and Spheres on your phone whilst out and about, even at the kitchen table! Discussing all your options and assessing the situation with your agronomist before jumping straight in the tractor is very important. Customers are finding Skippy is a really helpful tool in maximising spring weed control, if you want Skippy’s help please get in contact with us for more information.

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