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Growers finally have access to a new herbicide against some of the UK's most challenging grassweeds – including resistant blackgrass. New blackgrass herbicide wins approval for autumn application

• Long-awaited grassweed herbicide

• New active pre-emergence spray

• See as replacement for flufenacet

Growers finally have access to a new herbicide against some of the UK’s most challenging grassweeds – including resistant blackgrass.

It follows approval for BASF’s new active substance Luximo – the brand name for cinmethylin, a soil residual active substance for grass- and broad-leaved weed control in winter wheat.

The product containing this active – Luxinum Plus – provides a new mode of action for controlling blackgrass and Italian ryegrass, says BASF. It is designed for application at pre- and early post-emergence timings.

“We know how important Luximo will be for growers given the march of resistant black-grass – both geographically and biologically,” says Rob Gladwin, BASF’s head of technical management for agricultural products.

“It’s two years since the Institute of Zoology valued England’s annual economic loss from resistant black-grass at £400 million in lost gross profit, and certainly the situation has worsened since this calculation.”

Crucial action

The introduction of this mode of action is crucial, says Mr Gladwin. Luximo works differently to existing chemistry and therefore can work against resistant blackgrass and Italian ryegrass biotypes.

Thousands of greenhouse and field trials involving the active substance have taken place over the past decade. BASF now sees the herbicide as a replacement for flufenacet – not just a replacement.

In pre-emergence applications, 85% of 103 farmer-led and BASF blackgrass trials conducted over four years found that solo Luximo was more effective than solo flufenacet, with a 78% control rate compared to 58%.

“What stands out to us is the consistency of the results,” says Stuart Kevis, BASF herbicide business development manager. “Luximo reliably outperforms flufenacet in the control of blackgrass and more than halves seed return.”

Good performace

Luximo also shows very good activity against Italian ryegrass. There is a similar uplift in performance over flufenacet. Early indications are that it also performs well against difficult ryegrass populations, including populations that might be flufenacet resistant.

“It’s important to mention that while these results were achieved when using Luximo as a solo applied active, for trial purposes, the use of complementary partner products is vital for retaining the field performance of Luximo for the long term.”

Growers and agronomists are being encouraged to use the new product responsibly, says Mr Kevis.

“Now we have this all-important herbicide active substance, we must do all that we can to protect it from diminishing field performance.

“This means growers will need to maintain a firm focus on good cultural control, careful choice of tank-mix partners and applying the herbicide at the right time, in the best conditions and at the correct rates.”

Luxinum Plus will be available this autumn in combination with partner products. Further Luximo products are currently being evaluated and will also contain partner active substances such as pendimethalin