New – Need advice? Call the Helpline – Autumn 2018 edition
Got a chemical product query? It’s well worth storing the contact numbers for manufacturers’ technical helplines in your phone.
Experienced staff are on hand to help answer anything from a simple question through to averting a potential disaster.
(This article links to content published in the autumn edition of Pro Operator magazine)
All chemical manufacturers provide agrochemical help lines that put operators in immediate contact with experts who can help with all manner of questions regarding products, their application, filling, compatibility and much more.
Former Farm Sprayer Operator of the Year, Iain Robertson, says he makes good use of the helplines to solve queries about tank mixes and applications.
For urgent advice, go to the QUICK LINKS table at the end of the page.
“The manufacturers’ helplines offer a wealth of information about using their products – there are some very knowledgeable people available to operators,” he comments.
“While information on the recommended tank mix sequence is readily available for members on a chart produced by AICC, the helplines can give useful advice on whether products are physically and chemically compatible and their temperature and UV cut-offs. I’m BASIS trained and qualified, but I still find them really useful. [We also have an article on Mixing and Filling which includes a table on tank mix sequence, available to NRoSO members/subscribers only HERE]
“You can also find out what to avoid – most of the issues I experience are caused by trace elements. For example, if manganese goes in the wrong mix, it becomes like chewing gum,” says Iain.
Even in less extreme cases, he points out, using certain products together can reduce efficacy.
“Some products may not be compatible in the tank, but can be used one after the other without any problems. Others need to be used in a particular order.”
Iain emphasises advice on timings and water volumes etc are not the job of the helplines, and that these queries are best addressed to the agronomist.
Adama has recently appointed three regional agronomy managers (RAMs) who are the main source of advice for operators in their areas, says technical support coordinator, Chris Menzies. The Adama technical helpline number transfers to the mobile phones of Chris or the RAMs.
“I can assist with agronomy queries and specialist requests, e.g. knapsack applications, through the main helpline, which is manned Monday-Friday, and can help out if a customer or their agronomist needs a quick answer in the field. Our most common questions are about tank mixes and, although this information is also available on our website, it is always nice to respond to queries personally.
“The FAQ’s section of our website is due to be updated soon with questions which are more relevant to the time of the year, something I hope to be able to keep updated throughout the season, because many people will see this page before contacting the helpline.
“We are also adding a ‘live chat’ function on our website soon, where enquiries can be made online and this will mean queries get answered much more quickly and accurately,” says Chris.
Qu: Are there any varietal restrictions on the herbicide Tower?
Ans: There are no longer any varietal restrictions on Tower. It can be used on winter wheat, winter barley, winter rye and winter triticale prior to pseudostem (leaf sheath) erect stage, and as a pre-emergent in spring wheat and spring barley.
Corteva’s helpline service receives queries on topics from tank mixes to cultivation requirements and following crop restrictions.
“We also have a large grassland portfolio, so we get lots of queries about applications using equipment such as knapsacks and smaller trailed sprayers,” explains Georgina Clayton. “We’re also frequently asked about the best products for specific weed burdens.”
Stewardship advice is also an important part of the service, she adds: “We have an aminopyralid stewardship programme for our Forefront T herbicide to ensure that there are no issues with manure from animals grazed on pasture treated with the product, for example.”
The advice line is available to all – from agronomists and farmers to members of the public, and the team can field 40-60 enquiries a day in the peak season.
“I interact regularly with advisers from other manufacturers to ensure that we have all the information to hand to help with different product mixes, and often find that operator experiences can be used to help with queries.”
Qu: Does a large oilseed rape canopy size affect AstroKerb effectiveness?
Ans: Trials work has shown that large canopies do not impede weed control.
Qu: What Corteva grassland product offers best control of buttercups?
Ans: Envy controls buttercups, dandelions and other perennial weeds in paddocks and low productivity grassland. It has a short stock exclusion of just seven days and no herbicide residue concerns in manure, which is very important in equine situations where manure is picked and used on gardens or allotments.
You can also use it to replace straight fluroxypyr on chickweed where it is more effective in cooler conditions and at lower rates. Use it before chickweed flowers.
Gowan Crop Protection
Tel: 07584 052 323
Tel: 07532 807 138
Tel: 07747 567 227
Avadex – online enquiries via ‘contact us’ box HERE
Gowan UK’s team share technical enquiries between them and field plenty of questions about Avadex, its use and sequencing as part of the pre-em stack.
“There’s quite a lot of information on the website,” explains Dominic Lamb, UK and Ireland business manager. “We also take online enquiries via the ‘contact us box’ on the website and call customers back. However, we are also happy for urgent questions to be directed via our mobile numbers.”
Qu: How long do I have to leave before applying another herbicide either before or after applying the Avadex?
Ans: Ideally Avadex wants to be applied within 48 hours after drilling.
Specific to Avadex Excel 15G granules:
Qu: If it’s dry, can I still apply Avadex?
Ans: As with all autumn residual herbicides, some moisture is required for optimum efficacy and Avadex won’t perform to its maximum if it’s bone dry. Try to wait for some soil moisture but this is easier said than done.
Specific to Avadex Factor liquid
Qu: Can I tank-mix Avadex Factor with other herbicides?
Ans: Yes – there is a wide range of tank mixes and this list can be downloaded from the website.
Barrie Hunt, Alex Collingwood, Thomas Scanlon and Jonathan Griffin all field queries from agricultural and amenity customers. There is also an extensive library of information including detailed product guides with tank mix and application information on the website which you can find HERE
“There is no typical question as such. With such a wide range of uses we get everything from how much to put in a knapsack, to how to kill Japanese Knotweed, to questions on tank mixes, to Ecoplug advice etc,” says Barrie.
“From an agricultural perspective it’s mainly questions about dose rates and correct timings, especially in more unusual situations and tank mix compatibility.”
Omex’s sales and technical department can assist with a range of enquiries about liquid fertiliser and its application.
“Some of the questions are about quantities – the product is supplied in tonnes and the customers tend to invoice in litres, so we can make the tonnes/litres conversion for them if needed,” explains Omex’s Andy Eccles.
“Application timings is another common query – customers want to know if they can apply in specific weather conditions and how long after herbicide applications.”
Qu: We have had three nights of frost – is it safe to apply liquid fertiliser today?
Ans: It depends on the severity of the frost. If temperatures were below -2°C, it is better to wait two or three days to allow leaves to wax up again.
“We get a wide range of questions from a variety of operators including some very experienced people,” explains Caroline. “Often they are about tank mixes and we have a detailed chart of different products and how they work together. We can also answer queries about sequencing.”
As Syngenta also supplies a range of nozzles, Caroline is on hand to answer nozzle queries, including appropriate water rates and forward speeds for particular categories and applications.
“We have a wide maize portfolio, so from May to July a large percentage of queries are about applications to maize, especially from livestock farmers whose main interest is in growing the crop to feed their herd. Game cover is another type of crop where operators need support.”
Syngenta can advise on how to meet the requirements for buffer zones and LERAPs when using its products, and also on the suitability of substitute products supplied by merchants when their chosen Syngenta product is out of stock.
“Often the product is a generic or parallel replacement which may be illegal in a certain application.”
Many common queries are addressed on Syngenta’s website in FAQs within the crop support section, but anything that is not covered can be answered by Caroline.
“If I don’t have the answer to hand, we can usually turn queries round within an hour as long as the relevant contact is available,” she explains.
Qu: Can an SU be tank mixed with Axial and Agidor?
Ans: Yes, as long as the Axial is applied at the full dose rate for the target weed, i.e. wild oats – 0.3 litres/ha, ryegrass – 0.45 litres/ha, and weeds are actively growing. If applying separately and Axal is applied first, then seven days must elapse before an SU can be applied, but if an SU is applied first, then 21 days must elapse before Axial can be applied.
|Adama Agricultural Solutions||Chris Menzies||01635 876 firstname.lastname@example.org||Online help page|
|BASF Agricultural Solutions||–||0845 602 email@example.com||BASF UK website|
|Bayer Crop Science UK||–||0808 196 firstname.lastname@example.org||Find your regional contact|
|Corteva Agriscience||Georgina Clayton||0800 689 email@example.com||Corteva website|
|Gowan Crop Protection UK||Dominic Lamb
|07584 052 323
07532 807 138
07747 567 227
|Contact form||Online help & advice|
|Monsanto UK||Barrie Hunt
|01954 717 firstname.lastname@example.org||Monsanto ‘library’|
|Omex Agriculture||Andy Eccles||01526 396 000||Omex quick enquiry form||Omex UK website|
|Syngenta UK||Caroline Linsdell||0800 169 email@example.com||Syngenta UK website|