Selective control of Bromus sterilis in field boundaries with Fluazifop-P-butyl.
Many farmers view field boundaries as reservoirs of weeds and spray them with broad spectrum herbicides, thus destroying valuable wildlife habitat. The aim of this work was to examine the potential for selective control of barren brome (Bromus sterilis), thus avoiding removal of non-target plants. Six experiments were carried out over two years, in which fluazifop-P-butyl was applied to field boundary vegetation at two doses and timings during the period November to early January. High levels of B. sterilis control were generally achieved, though levels were lower at one site in each year, especially at the later timing. Other grasses, though exhibiting initial symptoms, had recovered by the following May, and with one or two exceptions showed no reduction in cover due to herbicide application. Cover of broad-leaved species increased on herbicide treated plots. The implications of the results for the implementation of this technique are discussed.