Press Release •  16/02/2024

Tillage farmers in Ireland need to rethink herbicide strategies following 2024’s wet start

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With some fields still under water following widespread rainfall, farmers will need a robust herbicide plan in place as they battle to catch up this spring.

A wet autumn delayed drilling of many winter cereals, causing a backlog of fieldwork that will need to be fulfilled as quickly as possible.

Those who did manage to drill their wheat will also need to review their herbicide strategy following the bad weather.

“We’ve had a number of difficult seasons in a row, and each poses a new challenge for farmers,” says Corteva Agriscience’s Cereal Herbicides Category Manager Alister McRobbie. “The past couple of years have been very cold and dry, but we’re facing the opposite in 2024.  

“Parts of the major cereal-growing areas, especially the north east of Ireland, are suffering from saturated soils, so it will be a while before there is any activity in badly-affected areas.

“Those with a busy fieldwork schedule should plan ahead, decide on their herbicide programme in advance, and make sure it’s in store ready to go.”

Farmers who managed to drill wheat last autumn will also need to rethink their strategy as it is unlikely they will be able to rely on the activity of their pre-emergence applications.

“A lot of the wheat would have received a pre-emergence herbicide, but there has been so much water it is likely this will have been washed through the soil profile,” adds Alister. “It won’t have worked very well, so there will be a need to control grassweeds such as brome, ryegrass and wild oats relatively early.”

The performance of autumn residuals will undoubtedly be impeded by the wet conditions, making a spring clean of weeds even more essential than usual.

Winter wheat in February
Winter wheat in February

Broadway® Star is a mainstay of spring grassweed control programmes and will be among the first products applied as soon as the opportunity to get sprayers working presents itself.

Teagasc research has shown that Broadway Star has no known resistance to sterile brome and wild oats in Ireland. This makes it an obvious choice for spring weed control, and it has the added benefit of having excellent efficacy against some of the main broad-leaved weeds, including cleavers, chickweed and charlock.

“In most years we don’t recommend applying a residual alongside Broadway Star, but this season we would advise it – Broadway Star is contact only, so it will kill the weeds there at the time of application and a residual will remain in the soil to eradicate grass seeds as they are germinating, before they get too big,” Alister explains.

“If you just need to target broad-leaved weeds, it’s better to take them out early with Arylex-based products such as Zypar or Pixxaro,” Alister says. “Get this on in a timely manner and take weed competition out early to avoid them competing with the crop and negatively impacting yield.

“There will be a lot of demands on farmers’ time this spring but cutting corners and overlooking weed control won’t help in the long run.”

Tank mixing with plant growth regulators, fungicides and trace elements will help reduce the number of sprays applied to crops in the busy spring period. This will be especially helpful with the expected increase in spring drilling work. However, farmers should ensure they don’t neglect sprayer hygiene in order to avoid contaminating subsequent loads.



About Corteva Agriscience

Corteva Agriscience is a publicly traded, global pure-play agriculture company that provides farmers around the world with the most complete portfolio in the industry - including a balanced and diverse mix of seed, crop protection and digital solutions focused on maximising productivity to enhance yield and profitability. With some of the most recognised brands in agriculture and an industry-leading product and technology pipeline well positioned to drive growth, the company is committed to working with stakeholders throughout the food system as it fulfils its promise to enrich the lives of those who produce and those who consume, ensuring progress for generations to come. Corteva Agriscience became an independent public company on 1 June 2019, and was previously the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. More information can be found at

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Media Contact: Ben Pike, Eve Communications
Tel: 01327 438617

Corteva Technical Hotline:
Tel: +44 800 689 8899

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