A NEW herbicide recently launched for the upcoming season already has the runs on the board if growers and agronomists are anything to go by.
Mateno Complete is the latest grass and broadleaf weed pre-emergent and early post-emergent herbicide from Bayer for use in wheat and barley crops, and it was trialled by a number of growers and agronomists across the country last year so they could test its performance against a number of criteria.
Kieran Popplewell, who with his family crops 7000 hectares to canola, wheat, oaten hay, field peas and lupins near Walebing, said overall it was probably the best weed control result in cereals he had seen in a problem paddock. "
It's nice to know that you can get very effective control - more effective than anything else on the market - post-emergent for annual ryegrass," Mr Popplewell said.
"That's probably the big game changer."
After viewing Mateno Complete in paddock and plot trials across WA, Tristan Clarke, agronomist with Elders Scholz Rural at Dalwallinu, agreed the early post-emergent (EPE) application was more robust in the control of both broadleaf and grass weeds.
Mateno Complete introduces a new herbicide mode of action, aclonifen (Group 32), in a complementary co-formulation with pyroxasulfone (Group 15) and diflufenican (Group 12) herbicides.
It can be used EPE in wheat to provide weed control across the complete soil surface, including in the furrow, on the furrow shoulder and in the inter-row, or it can be incorporated by sowing (IBS) in both wheat and barley to provide powerful and reliable control of grass weeds.
Mr Popplewell said while capeweed was among their weed targets, annual ryegrass and wild radish were the hardest to control and Mateno Complete was used in a problem paddock that had not been adequately tidied-up by growing triazine-tolerant canola in 2020 after coming out of wheat in 2019.
"It was sown with a knockdown to Devil wheat in early May and we applied Mateno Complete later at 1L/ha with a water rate of 100L/ha," he said.
"We mixed it the same as any other product in the granny pot and it was sprayed in ideal conditions with the Rogator sprayer with individual nozzle control, 25-centimetre spacings and running 80 and 100 mesh filters. I
"It sprayed well - there were no blockages or any issues.
"There were some small crop effects - a reduction in biomass of a couple of centimetres in the month following application, but it grew away from that and there was nothing to be seen visually.''
Mr Popplewell said he was impressed with how well Mateno Complete "pulled-down'' the annual ryegrass and the residual control was excellent, keeping weeds at bay until crop shading took over.
"We see it as a really good option for problem paddocks, where you can play the season a bit more," he said.
"It allows more versatility.
"If you find that you have a bad patch of ryegrass or other susceptible grass or broadleaf weeds in a paddock, you can hit it with Mateno Complete.'
"We will use it quite strategically in places where we have really bad weeds that can't be managed in other ways.
"We grow quite a bit of hay, so that is our first port of call for ryegrass control as requires less chemical use and is cheaper.
"It will be a tool in the toolbox that we will use more and more in future as weeds become more challenging and we lose other control options."
Mr Clarke was involved with a 100 a paddock-scale trial of Mateno Complete with a grower near Pithara, where it was applied IBS alongside two other premium pre-emergent herbicides.
He said annual ryegrass was the main weed problem in the paddock, with populations enhanced due to disturbance caused by deep ripping treatments in 2016 and 2018.
The paddock was sown to Scepter wheat and Mateno Complete was applied at 1L/ha in 100L/ha of total solution, comprising 50L/ha of water and 50L/ha of Flexi-N liquid nitrogen fertiliser.
Gramoxone and chlorpyrifos also were successfully added and Mr Clarke said the tank mix was easy to use.
"The mixing order is very important to ensure good mixing and compatibility, so we ensured we took plenty of time.''
It was applied using a Beverley Hydraboom sprayer with an airmatic system for air induction and with a medium to coarse droplet spectrum.
"The paddock was seeded with rain falling for the last couple of hectares, so it was into a full profile of moisture," Mr Clarke said.
"Another 45 millimetres was received in the month after seeding and then 120mm in the month following that, so there was plenty of moisture around, but no observable crop effects.
"The Mateno Complete performed on-par with the other premium pre-emergent brews that we used here.
"Notably, the broadleaf weed control with Mateno Complete was quite outstanding early on in the season.''
Mr Clarke said a new mode of action was a unique benefit for any herbicide arriving on the market, but also the mix of complementary modes of action in Mateno Complete was particularly beneficial.
"It allows growers to control weeds and hold-off resistance issues that they may be facing in a paddock.''
He said he would probably utilise Mateno Complete for targeted EPE use in select paddocks.
"Knowing that you are going to get back to those paddocks at the right application timing is key to getting the most out of the product, but also trying to pick the paddocks where you think the best value will be,'' Mr Clarke said.
"Used EPE in wheat, Mateno Complete provides control of small silver grass, toad rush, wild radish, capeweed and prickly lettuce and suppression of annual ryegrass, barley grass and doublegee/spiny emex.
IBS applications in wheat and barley offer a high level of control of annual ryegrass, barley grass, silver grass and toad rush and in wheat (at a higher rate) control of annual phalaris and suppression of wild oats, great brome and capeweed.
Want weekly news highlights delivered to your inbox? Sign up to the Farm Weekly newsletter.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.