Breakthrough in annual ryegrass control | CropSolutions Australia

Breakthrough in annual ryegrass control

A new breakthrough in annual ryegrass control for 2020

In 2020 BASF is set to launch a new herbicide that will really consolidate and extend the advances in pre-emergent grass weed control made in recent years. It is an important new product that will be registered to control the most damaging weed in cereal cropping at the most critical timing.

The introduction of an innovative, high-performance pre-emergent herbicide will add a much needed new tool to the otherwise limited toolbox for controlling annual ryegrass.

While the product name for this new herbicide is still completing the trademarking process, the unique active ingredient powering the product has been branded Luximo® by BASF. BASF expects the product name to be announced in the coming weeks.

Luximo is the first active in a new chemical class: the cineoles. Its mode of action has been provisionally classified as Group Z while it awaits final classification. Crucially, researchers have confirmed that Luximo will control all known annual ryegrass biotypes that have reduced sensitivity to the existing Group K products or any other recognised mode of action.

The new product will be registered for pre-emergent use in wheat to control annual ryegrass and suppress brome grass and wild oats. It will be formulated as an emulsifiable concentrate with a high active loading, so it will be applied at low rates with a 3-day application window. To ensure crop safety, it will need to be incorporated by sowing (IBS) using knife points and press-wheels. That means most growers can stick to their current application timings and methods while upgrading their control over annual ryegrass.

Compared to other pre-emergent herbicides, the Luximo-based formulation has a very favourable combination of solubility in water, soil binding and soil breakdown characteristics. Trials have shown that performance profile helps it perform more consistently than the current standard treatments across a range of weather and soil conditions.

“Entirely different herbicide chemistry doesn’t come along all that often, so this is really exciting news for the whole industry,” says Andrew Hoy, the Brand Manager of Herbicides at BASF. “Any new mode of action would be welcome, but especially when it will make control of the most dangerous weed in the cropping system more consistent from season to season and set up each year’s new wheat crop for success.

“Adding this new product to the pre-emergent rotation will take resistance pressure off other key products and help growers keep the upper hand over annual ryegrass. We all have a responsibility to maximise the useful lives of our existing chemistry by using the new tools that are brought to market.”

Over the last decade, pre-emergent herbicides have gone from being low-cost add-ons to an essential part of the crop protection rotation. The launch of the Group K ‘premium pre-ems’ helped growers get annual ryegrass populations that had developed resistance to other modes of action back under control.

Those Group K products made a huge difference: restoring yields, profitability and grower confidence.

The only downside is the same problem that always arises when excellent new chemistry is introduced. There’s a very real danger of growers becoming too reliant on a single solution.

Luximo’s innovative mode of action will help growers avoid that pitfall while they enjoy the positive benefits of a new product that matches the previous gold standard for convenience and length of control, and can even outperform it under challenging growing conditions.

“We will be running an extensive demonstration program in 2019 for this important new product,” says Andrew Hoy, “so ask your local agronomist or BASF sales rep for the opportunity to come and see this great new herbicide for yourself!”


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