An ability to boost black-grass control over established option Atlantis WG (iodosulfuron+mesosulfuron) could make Bayer´s new herbicide ,Hamlet (iodosulfuron+mesosulfuron + diflufenican), a key tool in the fight against the weed , according to the firm .

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Bayer unveiled its new post-emergence herbicide at a product launch in London.Hamlet ,is claimed to have delived 10% better control of black-grass in trials than Atlantis .

Ben Coombs ,campaign manager at Bayer ,said :”Hamlet offers a step up in control compared with Atlantis WG.We have several years of data from trials and the improvement is about 10% more black-grass control and a similar amount of rye-grass control.”

The improved grass-weed performance is derived from the addiction of diflufenican ,the primary component in residual herbicide Liberator (flufenacet+ diflufenican ).Hamlet is also said to offer a wider spectrum of braod -leaved weed control compared with Atlantis , thanks to a change in the proportion of active ingredients mesosulfuron and iodosulfuron.The product is set to take over from Atlantis for autumn use ,however Bayer insisted Atlantis remained the best option for spring herbicide applications.

Application

To get the most out of Hamlet ,herbicide developement manager Dr Gordon Anderson -Taylor advised early application.He said :”With Hamlet ,it is probably better to focus on how early you can spray rather than how late.Our trials show early application , when the target weed is between one and theree leaves ,gives you an improvement against black-grass with enhaced metabolism resistance -the most common type of resistance in UK black-grass.”

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Despite this ,with more farmers drilling later in an attempt to get on top of black-grass , Bayer has noticed an increase in the number of spring applications , as opposed to autumn applications.

“In the UK we used to see 40% autumn herbicide application and about 60% in spring.Now,only about 30% is used in autumn and 70% in spring.We are trying to shift more of the focus to autumn -winter applications , when herbicides can be most effective .Where conditions are appropiate ,growers could consider spraying as late as February to gain better herbicide performance , he added .

Since Hamlet is best applied early ,Bayer recommends adding a residual partner to the tank mix in order to control any subsequent black-grass germination .

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