Chicory is an effective forage for finishing young stock within sheep and beef farming systems and in a dairy system to improve overall energy intake throughout the spring/summer months.

Plantain can also be used as a sole forage but is mainly sown with clover also as a 2-year forage crop. Ecotain® is a plantain species that is often mixed within dairy ryegrass and clover mixes to mitigate against N leaching.

Herbicide use over forage herbs is limited, as we can only use specific herbicides such as Valdo 800WG, combined with Bonza Gold  on chicory (and clover mixes), with Dictate 480 specifically used over plantain swards and pastures containing plantain. For specialist crops, where one of these herbs is grown with or without clover SeQuence is a great option for grass weed control and Kaiso 50WG is very popular option for Cutworm or Plantain Moth.

Dictate 480 requires high water rates (of 300-500L/ha). Use of a quality adjuvant such as Contact Xcel when applying Dictate 480 ensures adequate coverage and improves efficacy of the product, talk to your local TM for more info in this space.

Timing is also very important when applying herbicides to chicory and plantain. We need to apply to weeds when they are at the 2-4 leaf stage if we want adequate control. Leaving the weeds to get bigger often reduces efficacy and doesn’t meet farmers expectations.

Paul Greenbank – Territory Manger for Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa
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