Nearly a decade of weed control strength with Sakura herbicide - Elders Rural Services

Nearly a decade of weed control strength with Sakura herbicide

Over past decades of cereal cropping in Australia, only a few pre-emergent herbicides may come to mind when considering effectiveness over an extended period of time – think trifluralin.

As we head into 2021, Sakura® herbicide celebrates its tenth year as the benchmark preemergent grass control tool for the nation’s wheat growers, and it appears its success is
not about to fade anytime soon.

A dozen trials in wheat crops across Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland this season have continued to reinforce its advantages for annual ryegrass control when compared with established and recently introduced preemergent herbicides.

On average across all 12 trials, Sakura Flow, the suspension concentrate (SC) formulation of the herbicide, applied at 210 mL/ha, achieved 86 per cent control of annual ryegrass. Boxer Gold® at 2.5 L/ha recorded 80 per cent control, Luximax® at 500 mL/ha achieved 75 per cent control and trifluralin at 2 L/ha averaged 73 per cent control.

Bayer NSW Market Development Agronomist Gus Maclennan said four of the fully replicated trials were located between Temora, Culcairn and Corowa in Southern NSW.

The sites featured moderate annual ryegrass pressure, together with other weed species, and ideal seasonal conditions allowed for good control from pre-planting knockdown herbicide applications and good residual control from the pre-emergent herbicides.

Gus said the frequent rainfall events, however, also resulted in conditions conducive to breaking down herbicide activity, which, in turn, highlighted the longer residual control provided by Sakura.

“With continued rainfall events, we saw ryegrass germinations appear throughout the season,’’ Gus said.


“As the trials demonstrated, you often don’t see a lot of difference in control between the different herbicides included in the trials during the initial stages of the growing season; they are all reasonably effective in the first few weeks after application.

“Beyond that is when you see the activity from some herbicides breaking down and new germinations growing through. The longer residual control provided by Sakura then becomes evident, with most of the late germinating weeds in those treatments being controlled.’’

Annual ryegrass control at the trial sites was typically assessed four to six weeks after seeding and again 12-16 weeks after seeding.

Gus said the longer residual control provided by Sakura was one of its distinguishing characteristics, but there are also several other attributes that are particularly suited to current farming systems in Australia.

“Its near-ideal soil adhesion and stubble binding properties mean that after application it is available in sufficient quantity in most Australian soils to control weeds in a way well suited to our no-till and stubble retention farming systems,’’ he said.

“Boxer Gold and Luximax can give good early control, but typically do not give the length of residual control that Sakura does.

“Sakura also achieves this without compromising crop safety. It plays a critical role in getting crops off to a really good start and it typically doesn’t set crops back.’’

Conditions were not the same at a number of trials in WA due to a dry start to the season in the State, but it still served to highlight the longer residual control of annual ryegrass with Sakura.

“Following knockdown applications, we had a dry opening to the season for a month to six weeks before we started to get good moisture in the soil profile from late July-August,’’ said Bayer WA Market Development Agronomist and Field Leader of Integrated Weed Management in Australia, Craig White.

“At some sites, we were dealing with ryegrass plant densities of 600-800 per squarem metre and late germinations.

“When the later rains came, the level of control between the different herbicides started to separate and you could see the longer residual control with Sakura.

“As the season continued, there were very visual differences in the weed control between Sakura and the other herbicides. The ryegrass in the other plots was just not as well controlled.’’

In a reflection of the last decade within farming systems, Craig said Sakura once again showed its proven, strong and consistent performance.

Fellow Market Development Agronomist in WA’s northern agricultural region, Matt Willis, reiterated the strong performance of Sakura in local trials this season.

“Some of the other products looked very good early, but then lacked the residual control,’’ Matt said.

“The trials really showed just how long the residual control of Sakura is when compared with some other products.’’

Sakura provides up to 12 weeks residual control of annual ryegrass and effective control of barley grass, annual phalaris, silver grass and toad rush in wheat (except durum wheat), triticale, chickpeas, field peas, lentils and lupins, as well as suppression of great brome and wild oats.

About Bayer in Australia
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of healthcare and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. It has operated in Australia since 1925 and has a long term commitment to the health of Australians. Locally, Bayer currently employs almost 900 people across the country and is dedicated to servicing the needs of rural Australia and the local community.
Bayer is deeply committed to research and development and has a strong tradition of innovation. The company’s focus on people, partnerships and innovation underpins all aspects of its operations, consistent with its mission, “Bayer: Science For A Better Life.”

For more information visit the Bayer website.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.


Article provided by Bayer for the Autumn 2021 edition of Seasons Magazine.