Controlling docks by stubble cultivation


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The traditional plough with a working depth of 20 cm is only partly suitable for controlling docks as it splits the roots, making it difficult to bring them to the surface manually or with a harrow. Most of the dock roots that stay in the soil start to sprout again.
In order to clear docks, the skim plough and the flat cultivator have proved to be effective. They cut through the soil at a depth of 12-25 cm and expose the old roots. The challenge is then to bring these roots to the surface with a suitable harrow in order to collect them.
The stubble cultivation cuts the dock roots below growth points. The vegetative plant parts are then cut off from the water and nutrient supply, and regrowth is inhibited. Practical recommendation • Summer dock treatment is especially worthwhile in dry summers with catch crop cultivation and after early maturing crops (winter barley, whole-crop silage) or with an early tillage of grass-clover. • After grass-clover lay or cereal harvest, undercut the dock plants at a depth of 12-15 cm with a skim plough (without skimmer) with a support wheel, a stubble cleaner or an overlapping flat cultivator. • Bring the roots to the surface by passing over the field with a spring-tine harrow every 7-14 days. Additionally, apply a rotary harrow in heavy soils to expose the roots. • After every round, collect roots manually or let them dry in suitable weather conditions. Only leave fully dead roots on the field. Information • Plan deep-rooted crops and annual or perennial cover crops in the crop rotation in order to reduce the water and nutrient supply in deeper soil layers and thus impair the growth conditions for dock plants. • After a short dock treatment sow a suitable catch crop as quickly as possible, and only leave the field fallow until autumn sowing of cereals, if you intend to perform a longer treatment. • If the dock pressure is high, refrain from sowing 4-year, slowly growing mixtures.
Weed management
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