Tuesday, 30 April 2013

SMARTGRASS - CUT-OFF DATE EXTENSION FOR 2013

SmartGrass has successfully had it's cut-off date extended for this season.  This is due to the very  late growth of grass.  Many fields are just becoming ready to spray now.  CRD have extended the cut-off date until the end of May 2013.

More information here > SmartGrass Date Extension

Press Release Below





Extended application timing for Smartgrass

The late spring this year has significantly delayed the growth rate of many crops including grassland and many grassland farmers would like to see their quality grassland grow quicker. SmartGrass, a grassland growth rate enhancer is normally applied in April, but in recognition of current conditions, its normal application timing as been extended to include May, after being granted an emergency timing extension of one month by CRD, the UK’s agrochemical regulatory authority, permitting its use until the 1st of June. SmartGrass, a patented formulation of gibberellic acid, has been proven to enhance the growth rate of grass in the early spring, but this year in many areas the optimum timing has been delayed.

Dr David Stormonth of Interfarm explains that normally the spray window is between mid-March to mid-April, depending on locations and weather patterns. In recognition of current conditions, Interfarm has successfully applied to CRD for a timing extension.  “CRD fully recognise that conditions during the first few months of this year have caused problems to grassland farmers and this application timing extension, known as an emergency approval, will give growers the opportunity to help catch up with grass production for grazing or silage” said David.   “SmartGrass needs to be applied at the start of spring active growth. This has been delayed this year because of low temperatures and whilst the normal application timing is in March or April, this year conditions for many will be more likely in May.  Grass responds not only to increasing day length but also soil surface temperatures.  SmartGrass needs to be applied at the start of a warming period.  Air temperature should be warming and likely to remain so for 7 days, not when temperatures are likely to fall.  The sward needs to be of good quality, good fertility and should have adequate moisture to support the extra growth from SmartGrass”.

Applied as a conventional spray to grass at the start of spring growth, SmartGrass at 20g/ha plus a non-ionic or methylated seed oil adjuvant will accelerate the growth rate of established rotational and permanent agricultural grassland for about 6 weeks. Quality grass leys designed for stock grazing or silage are suitable and all grass species can be enhanced. SmartGrass increases the growth rate of grass, resulting in taller grass, increased dry matter and enables earlier use of grassland for grazing or for cutting for hay or silage production.

Dr. Stormonth warns that once rapid growth has fully started, grass is already producing its own gibberellins and the opportunity to advance growth further will have passed. First year leys are naturally vigorous and may not give the best response.

To get optimum benefit, SmartGrass should not be used if crops are suffering drought, pest or disease, in low fertility situations or if other stress factors that may reduce potential growth are at play.  It is advisable to keep livestock out of treated areas for at least 2 weeks to allow the grass to respond to treatment.

SmartGrass is a product developed by Valent BioSciences Corporation, which is part of Sumitomo Chemical Company.  “It has already been used successfully in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Chile. Approval for its UK registration with CRD follows three years development work across UK and relevant European countries,” says David

SmartGrass contains 400g/kg gibberellic acid (GA3) formulated as a water soluble granule and packed in a 20g sachet. It is a systemic natural plant growth regulator for use in fertile grassland used for grazing, hay or silage. It is applied at a dose rate of 20 g/ha in 200-400 litres of water and at a medium spray quality in the early spring at the start of growth, during a warm period with temperatures greater than 5º C.  It should be applied with an adjuvant. One application can be applied per crop and the latest time of application is now the 1st June. SmartGrass has no LERAP, but care is needed to avoid drift onto adjacent crops. It is rainfast within 2 hours.

For further comment and information, please contact Dr David Stormonth, Technical Manager, Interfarm UK Ltd. on 01354 741414 or 07818 036506 (mobile)