FMC has launched a new carfentrazone-based herbicide, Aurora, to control broad leaved weeds, particularly ivy leaf speedwell, cleavers and bur chervil. It says the product fills a gap in the market for a product control spring broad-leaved weeds where a pre-emergence herbicide could not be applied or as not effective.

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Adam Espir, commercial technical manager at FMC, explains: “What became apparent in autumn 2019 was that when growers couldn’t get pre-em residuals on, weeds were appearing that would normally be controlled. Growers were in touch looking for other options, but if you look at the autumn herbicide market there are only about five actives and quite a limited number of products they can use.”

“As an agronomist’s tool, this product is exceedingly flexible as it can be used with residual herbicides where broad-leaved weeds are present in both the autumn and spring,” he continues. “It can also be tank mixed with a wide range of products, including insecticides.

It is a contact acting herbicide which works very well against small weeds, but good coverage is important. To get the most out of this product, water volume is crucial so I would recommend at least 200 litres per hectare, while ensuring weeds are still at the two-leaf stage, will deliver the best results.

“With unpredictable wet weather a regular occurrence for the sector to deal with, it is very useful for agronomists to know that if growers inadvertently miss the window to apply their pre-ems and have to rely on early post-em herbicides, they now have the security of Aurora,” Mr Espir concludes. “It adds a new mode of action to the herbicide armoury while also reducing the risk of resistance build-up.”