Docks

There are over 200 species of docks worldwide, with 12 species in Ireland.

The two most common and most damaging are:

  • Broad Leaved Dock - Rumex obtusifolius
  • Curled Dock - Rumex crispus

Reasons for Dock Control in Established Grassland

  • They are the most pernicious and damaging of all grassland weeds
  • More than 15% of productive grassland has a serious dock infestation
  • Docks compete with grass for light, nutrients and moisture and thus reduce grass yields
  • Docks have only 65% of the feed value of grass
  • Docks are unpalatable and, in general, animals will only eat them if there is nothing else available
  • Excessive quantities of docks in the diet can cause dietary upsets, especially in young animals
  • When fields become infested with docks, the available grazing is reduced, which then impacts on the planned grazing cycle
  • Presence of docks in silage can affect fermentation, thus reducing overall quality

Docks

  • Lower stocking rates and gross margins
  • Reduced grazing
  • Reduced quality
  • Lower performance (milk yield and liveweight gain)

Established docks in permanent pasture can be controlled using DoxstarPro*, ForefrontT* or PastorPro* herbicides.

Biology

Docks in grassland are well adapted to modern farming techniques. They germinate throughout the year and grow from seed as well as root stocks.

Seed

  • One broad-leaved dock can produce 60,000 seeds
  • One curled dock can produce 40,000 seeds
  • Seed is spread by wind, water and slurry
  • They are viable in the soil for up to 80 years
  • There are 12.5 million seeds/ha in the top 15cm of soil
  • Docks will produce seed even after cutting

Roots

  • They have a tap root and secondary root systems
  • Shoots grow from root sections
  • The roots are very long

Docks are ideally suited to the conditions created in intensively managed grassland and particularly cattle regimes. Ideal conditions for grass growth are also ideal for docks: moist, fertile soils with moderate to high levels of nitrogen.

Dock and chickweed seeds can pass undamaged through silage, the stocks’ digestive system and slurry. They are therefore spread very effectively by modern farming practices.

In the slurry the seeds are effectively coated in nutrient ready to germinate and grow.

Lax/open swards resulting from poaching, over-grazing, winter kill, pest damage and lack of tillering in shorter term leys all provide space for seeds to germinate and become established.

Timing treatment for maximum effect

Make sure the docks are at the correct growth stage - the rosette stage - in order for them to take in the chemical properly and for it to translocate down into the roots. If they are too big then cut them and treat the regrowth, usually 2-3 weeks later.


Docks


Too Early

Just Right

Too Late

Using the correct product

DoxstarPro

Contents 150 g/litre fluroxypyr
150 g/litre triclopyr
Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 200mm high or across
Pack Size 2.0 litres
Dose Rate 2.0 litres/ha
OR
1.0 litres/ha
followed by
1.0 litres/ha
Water Volume 300-400 l/ha

The weeds must be actively growing.

Leave 2-3 weeks after cutting/grazing to allow sufficient regrowth before spraying. After application allow:

  • 7 day grazing interval before returning stock to treated areas
  • 28 days before mowing for maximum translocation


Forefront T

Contents 30 g/litre aminopyralid
240 g/litre fluroxypyr
Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 250mm high or across
Pack Size 2.0 litres
Dose Rate 2.0 litres/ha
Water volume 200-300 l/ha

The weeds must be actively growing.

Leave 2-3 weeks after cutting/grazing to allow sufficient regrowth before spraying. After application allow:

  • 7 day grazing interval before returning stock to treated areas
  • 7 days before mowing for maximum translocation


PastorPro

Contents 50 g/litre clopyralid
75 g/litre fluroxypyr
100 g/litre triclopyr
Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 200mm high or across
Pack Size 4.0 litres
Dose Rate 4.0 litres/ha
OR
2.0 litres/ha
followed by
2.0 litres/ha
Water volume 300-400 l/ha

The weeds must be actively growing.

Leave 2-3 weeks after cutting/grazing to allow sufficient regrowth before spraying. After application allow:

  • 7 day grazing interval before returning stock to treated areas
  • 28 days before mowing for maximum translocation


GrazonPro

To spot treat docks use GrazonPro.

Contents 240 g/litre triclopyr
60 g/litre clopyralid
Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 200mm high or across
Pack Size 1.0 litre
Dose Rate 60ml / 10 litres of water

The weeds must be actively growing.

Keep livestock out of treated areas for at least 7 days and until foliage of any poisonous weeds, such as Ragwort, has died and become unpalatable.

Fields should not be cut or grazed for 28 days following application to allow GrazonPro to fully translocate into the root system for long term control.

GrazonPro is rainfast in 2 hours.