Limitations are often encountered where M.C.P.B. could be used, were it not for the proximity of glasshouses, tomatoes, young asparagus, grapes, roses and other susceptible crops. We can’t afford to take risks. No complaints have been encountehred so far, although pasture and grain spraying has done damage to peaches and tomatoes. In spite of a warning in the local Press to the effect that M.C.P.B. is a volatile spray, this is not a correct statement of the case. Direct drift only does the damage. Drift can be dangerous over a fair distance, it is true, and care must be taken. Droplet size should not be too ﬁne, as atomised particles will drift further than coarse particles. Boom height should be kept as low as possible while still allowing proper coverage.
One of our main problems in weed control is to kill Amaranthus and Nightshade at the same time. M.C.P.B. is too doubtful on Nightshade, but is the only answer to Amaranthus or Prince of Wales Feather. On the other hand, Nightshade is one of the easiest weeds to kill with D.N.B.P. A combination of these two sprays, it was thought, could be the answer. Chemists advised that the materials were compatible if kept well agitated. Consideration was given to the fact that D.N.B.P. tends to wilt and burn the plant tissue, which would interfere with the translocation of the hormone M.C.P.B., and poor results were anticipated.
Several trials of mixtures have been carried out in spite of this, and show promise:
3 pints D.N.B.P. 20%, plus ½ pint M.C.P.B. – Results erratic.
2 pints D.N.B.P. 20%, plus 1 pint M.C.P.B. – Results fair.
It was found a few years ago that M.C.P.A. gave good control of both berry-weed and Prince of Wales Feather, but was rather drastic on peas. Knowing that M.C.P.B. reverts to M.C.P.A. through the action of the plant, a mixture of the two has been used. Results are very promising as far as weed control is concerned and tests will prove whether the crop is affected.
The mixture contained 1½ pints M.C.P B. and 1 pint of M.C.P.A. Other combinations are being investigated. (M.C.P.B. when quoted is based on 4lbs. a.e. per gallon.)
To ascertain the effect on crop weights, a trial using straight M.C.P.A., M.C.P.B. and combinations of the two, and checked against D.N.B.P., are being undertaken. Reports maintain that M.C.P.B. reduces yield, and we wish to check this again this year.
The whole question of weed control is very interesting and complex. In the early stages, when D.N.B.P. was the only spray used, a lot of work went into the question; of aperture size and spacing of nozzles, boom heights, pressure, amounts of water per acre, etc. Solid-cone nozzles have proved most satisfactory, and pressure and rates of application have more or less been standardised; but with new materials and combinations of sprays the ﬁght against weeds still continues. Every effort is being made to ﬁnd a most suitable and economic outcome. Improvement over the years has been steady and very few crops are lost due to weeds to-day.
What are Peas worth to the Grower ?
In the past it was an easy matter to know exactly the returns per pound of peas harvested. With the introduction last year of a new system whereby payment was made according to maturity, many growers found it difﬁcult to follow. For the beneﬁt of new growers and as a reference, the grade and price are set out herewith. These are the prices ruling for the 1957-58 season, the only variation being that ½d. per pound bonus is paid for peas planted during the month of August.
PRICE PER POUND TO GROWERS FOR 1957-58 SEASON.
Tenderometer Reading. Price per Lb. Grade
Under 85 6.6d. 1
86-90 6.3d. 2
91-95 5.2d. 3
96-100 4.3d. 4h
101-105 3.7d. 5
106-110 3.3d. 6
111-115 2.9d. 7
116-120 2.6d 8
Over 120 2.5d. 9