Luximo® – one year on

12 Sep 2023

Despite last year’s challenging autumn, Luximo® gave growers more black-grass control in comparison to the market standard and will be a key building block in herbicide programmes for the season ahead.

Reviewing Luximo®’s first year in a recent webinar, BASF revealed the latest trial results, how to get the most from this new mode of action, and discussed a variety of strategies to tackle even the most difficult black-grass.

“Harvest conditions were significantly better last year,” recalls BASF Business Development Manager, Stuart Kevis. “It allowed some growers to consider drilling earlier, but also meant far fewer grassweeds chitted ahead of drilling, and pre-emergence herbicides went on in drier conditions.”

“In February, just when the winter wheat wanted to get up and going, we had warm, dry weather and the lack of moisture held many crops back. Of course, we made up for that with a very wet March.”

“With a head-start in the autumn and a lack of early crop competition in spring, we had some very substantial black-grass plants come May.”

Despite the unfavourable conditions, Stuart noted anecdotal reports of good performance from herbicide programmes – a finding reflected in BASF trials.

On-farm in Bedfordshire, Luxinum® Plus + pendimethalin + diflufenican offered 85% control while Liberator (flufenacet + diflufenican) + aclonifen provided just 40%, in a very high-pressure situation of over 619 heads/m2.

“Last year’s results mirrored those that we saw during Luximo’s development.  The conditions, perhaps, highlighted the differences between it and other treatments, which suffered more from the dry conditions, and the lack of stale seedbeds,” concludes Stuart.

Assessing a larger proportion of trials, Steve Dennis, BASF Head of Business and Technical Development said: “In the last three years, across 56 trials, Luximo provided nearly 15% more control than Liberator. 

Where Liberator + aclonifen averaged 72%, Luximo® + pendimethalin + diflufenican gave 84% control.

“Luximo is clearly the best active ingredient but, depending on conditions, won’t always give that near 100% control we need to stop black-grass populations developing.”

It’s why Steve advocates using Luximo® in conjunction with integrated pest management (IPM) techniques such as delayed drilling and spring cropping, as well as other chemical controls.

“Adding Avadex, for example, brings the Luximo based programmes much closer to a level of control that will sustain or reduce a black-grass population.”

According to the research, to achieve similar levels of control with a flufenacet-based programme, such as Liberator + aclonifen, would need a post-emergence herbicide in addition to Avadex.

Using NIAB ARTIS black-grass economic model, Steve emphasised the point, showing that while the additional control from Luximo® was highly significant, alone, it still isn’t enough to reduce a difficult black-grass population.

“When it comes to black-grass, the maths is brutal,” he says.

Stuart agrees adding: “Luximo is clearly now the market leader for effective black-grass control but last year’s trials results, together with growers’ experiences, show that IPM is still really important for preventing population increases.”

Timing and achieving good coverage were noted as being the most important factors for optimising Luximo®’s performance.

“Luximo is a soil residual herbicide – the key being ‘soil’. Optimising applications is really about achieving a good level of coverage and that will depend on a number of variables, so we recommend sprayer operators use whatever water volume and nozzle choice is best for their situation. Timing, however, is important and Luximo is best applied at true pre-emergence,” he concluded.