Following wet and cold winter conditions, some land still needs to be tidied up ahead of spring sowing.

Here are five tips, from Bayer, to achieve the best results managing over-wintered cover crops and stubbles prior to spring drilling.

1. Control weeds before drilling. There are limited in-crop herbicide options in spring crops hence a clean start is vital to give crops a chance to establish without competition.

Once crops are through the early growth stages they can grow away rapidly, close the canopy and outcompete weeds. Keep the gap as short as possible between spraying off stubbles and bare land ahead of drilling to prevent any additional germination which could affect the crop.

2. Begin cover crop destruction as soon as possible. For cover crops, time is needed between spray off and sowing for biomass to break down rather than interfere with the following crop.

3. Winter-hardened plants need robust rates. Many weeds, particularly broad-leaf weeds are likely to be winter-hardened after the periods of cold this season which means robust rates of Roundup (glyphosate) are needed to achieve effective kill.

Check weed spectrum and condition before selecting the application rate.

4. Avoid treating plants at stem extension. According to Bayer’s Roger Bradbury: "Later in spring, make sure that glyphosate applications aren’t made to plants in stem extension.

"At this time, there is poor translocation of glyphosate which has to move against the ‘natural’ flow of sugars, away from the roots in support of the developing stem and flower. This can lead to less effective control and possible re-growth of treated plants.”

5. Consider mixes with pre-em chemistry. In spring wheat and spring barley, pre-emergence herbicides are also used to control weeds. Roundup has good compatibility and there are supported residual mixes which can be applied at the true pre-em timing within 48 hours of drilling.

This can be particularly helpful when there is a long gap between spraying off and drilling or if some additional cultivation was needed to support establishment.