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

Product Contents                                                   Pack Size  Application Rate  Water Volume
    doxstarpro 150 g/L fluroxypyr
150 g/L triclopyr                                                       
2.0 L          
2.0 L/ha OR
1.0 L/ha followed by 1.0 L/ha                         
300-400 L/ha               
 

Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 150mm to 200mm high or across

Weeds must be actively growing; free from disease or insect damage; not suffering from drought, waterlogging or nutrient deficiency

Stock exclusion 7 days
Cutting interval Minimum 21 days, ideally 28 days
Rainfastness 2 hours when applied to a dry leaf
Clover Will be damaged; re-introduce after 6 weeks
200-300 l/ha
200-300 l/ha
1.0 litre
60ml / 10 litres of water
60ml / 10 litres of water

Using the correct product - ForefrontT

Product Contents                                                   Pack Size  Application Rate  Water Volume
forefrontt                                            
30 g/L aminopyralid
240 g/L fluroxypyr
2.0 L
2.0 L/ha
200 L/ha OR 300 L/ha for high weed numbers or dense grass swards

Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 150mm to 200mm high or across

Weeds must be actively growing; free from disease or insect damage; not suffering from drought, waterlogging or nutrient deficiency

Stock exclusion
7 days – only use on grazing ground grazed by cattle or sheep
Cutting interval
Do not use ForefrontT on fields to be cut for silage, hay or haylage unless it is after the last cut
Manure If manure is generated, keep on farm and apply to grazing grassland
Rainfastness
1 hour when applied to a dry leaf
Clover
Will be damaged; re-introduce after 4 months

Using the correct product - GrazonPro

Product Contents                                                   Pack Size  Application Rate  Water Volume
 grazonpro 240 g/L triclopyr
60 g/L clopyralid
1.0 L
60 ml product in 10 litres water                       
 

Hand held application only via a hand held lance on a quadbike or via a knapsack

Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 150mm to 200mm high or across

Weeds must be actively growing; free from disease or insect damage; not suffering from drought, waterlogging or nutrient deficiency

Stock exclusion
Keep livestock out of treated areas for at least 7 days or until foliage of any poisonous weeds such as ragwort has died and become unpalatable
Cutting interval
Minimum 21 days, ideally 28 days
Rainfastness
2 hours when applied to a dry leaf
Clover
GrazonPro will damage clover but a well-aimed spray on to the target weeds will enable high levels of weed control to be achieved yet minimising the effect on overall clover populations

200-300 l/ha
200-300 l/ha
1.0 litre
60ml / 10 litres of water
60ml / 10 litres of water

Using the correct product - PastorPro

Product Contents                                                   Pack Size  Application Rate  Water Volume
pastorpro
50 g/L clopyralid
75 g/L fluroxypyr
100 g/L triclopyr
4.0 L
4.0 L/ha OR
2.0 L/ha followed by 2.0 L/ha
300 L/ha OR 400 L/ha for high weed numbers or dense grass swards
Apply at the rosette growth stage, before the docks are 150mm to 200mm high or across

Weeds must be actively growing; free from disease or insect damage; not suffering from drought, waterlogging or nutrient deficiency

Stock exclusion
7 days
Cutting interval
Minimum 21 days, ideally 28 days
Rainfastness
2 hours when applied to a dry leaf
Clover
Will be damaged; re-introduce after 6 weeks

200-300 l/ha
200-300 l/ha
1.0 litre
60ml / 10 litres of water
60ml / 10 litres of water