Autumn ideal time to control Ragwort
By Nick Harden
With autumn the optimum time to control ragwort, Bayer Environmental Science is reminding land owners (including golf clubs and local authority amenity land) of their obligation to prevent the spread of the weed.
The Ragwort Control Act Feb 2004 enabled the Secretary of State to create a Code of Practice to provided guidance to landowners and occupiers on when, where and how to control ragwort. A copy of the "Code of practice on how to prevent the spread of ragwort" is now available as a free download from www.defra.gov.uk. A second publication "Guidance on the disposal options for common ragwort" can also be downloaded free from the same site. See LinkRagwort
Ragwort is highly toxic to grazing animals, and it is an offence to allow it to spread on your land. From a municipal viewpoint, Ragwort must be controlled because it invades road verges and other low-maintenance turf areas, to the demise of more valued wildflower and grass species.
With respect to control of ragwort in amenity areas, many landscape managers and groundsmen are aware that herbicides containing 2,4-D give good levels of control. Bayer Environmental Science markets three products containing 2,4-D, which are approved for use on amenity turf:-
"Dicotox Extra" containing 2,4-D ester
"Dormone" containing 2,4-D amine
"Supertox 30" containing 2,4-D amine plus mecoprop-p
The ester formulation Dicotox Extra is taken up extremely quickly by treated foliage and is therefore very rainfast. This may therefore be the product of choice if application is required when rain is forecast! On the other hand, the amine formulation Dormone is one of very few herbicides approved for use in or near water. This is therefore the product of choice when treating any amenity area near any body of water.
The advantage of using a straight 2,4-D product is that a relatively narrow weed spectrum is targeted. The mixture with mecoprop-p will kill a broader spectrum of species.
More information on these products is available at:- www.bayer-escience.co.uk