Sycamore Saplings In Pasture


Over recent months, horse owners have become increasingly aware of the fatal illness occurred through sycamore seedlings found in paddocks and pasture; having either blown from neighboring fields or from Acer trees (known as Sycamore) in the vicinity.

Atypical myopathy is a mysterious yet often fatal illness, usually found in grazing horses, mostly in the autumn and spring.

The illness weakens the muscles of the body and can present with sudden stiffness, muscle tremors, collapse and colic-like signs, with a low temperature. Often dark urine is seen. The fatality rate is around 70%.

Studies have revealed that toxins from the seeds of the tree acer pseudoplatanus (more commonly known as the sycamore) is the likely cause.

The toxin is not always present in every seed, or in seeds from every tree. This makes it difficult to predict whether a particular horse will become ill when exposed.

It is not contagious and can affect horses of all ages and types, but young horses may be more vulnerable.

When horses are at risk…..

Outbreaks of the disease tends to be seasonal, with most cases occurring in the autumn. It is usually more common when horses are kept in sparse pastures; where seeds are on the ground and are eaten when there is not much grazing.

What signs you should be looking for…..

The beginning of the disease can be extremely rapid, with some horses being found dead in their fields.


Muscular weakness and stiffness.

Dark urine.

Colic-like signs.

Sweating and trembling.

What treatment is available?

Horses diagnosed early by blood and urine tests can be treated with intravenous fluids and intensive care, but once the signs are present it is already serious.

Advice to horse owners…..

  1. Fence off areas where sycamore seeds and/or leaves have fallen and apply a weed killer called Broadshot®.

Broadshot® is highly effective against difficult to control woody and herbaceous weeds, including Ragwort, Brambles, Japanese Knotweed, Docks and Thistles. It has a selective action which means it will not harm grasses when applied at the recommended rates.

Being safe to grass makesBroadshot® an attractive alternative to Roundup® when used to control large woody weeds such as tree saplings. Broadshot® is a very universal product as it is also strong on troublesome weeds such as Marestail, Ground Elder and Nettles.

  1. Regularly inspect fields to ensure seeds have not blown in from nearby sycamore trees
  2. Supply extra forage (hay or haylage) especially where pasture is poor
  3. Reduce stock density, so there is enough good grazing for every horse
  4. Turn out horses for short periods (ideally less than 6hrs.)
  5. If concerned contact your vet immediately



Japanese Knotweed Weed Killer

Two of the toughest weed killers we had, Tordon 22k & Timbrel were withdrawn from sale on June 20th 2014. This leaves a big gap in the armoury for what we can use to control these tough and invasive weeds.

We do however, have a solution. Scimitar is a selective weed killer which means it will not affect grass. It will however, do a very good on job on Bramble, Marestail, Japanese Knotweed, Balsam, Hogweed and most other invasive weeds.

CLICK HERE to see a brand new product that will control all of these weeds!

Herbicide Enhancers

It’s the time of year where you can be presented by some rather large, waxy weeds which may need to be controlled by glyphosate or other herbicides. Have you ever thought how you could improve the efficiency of the product you buy?

Two crucial additives to consider using in order to improve the efficiency of most herbicides are Water Conditioners & Adjuvant Oils. Individually, these additives can improve the efficiency of herbicides by up to 25%, easily outweighing their cost.

Water Conditioners
Water conditioners are vital when using products such as glyphosate in hard water areas. The glyphosate can be ‘locked up’ as soon as it touches the hard water making it loose as much as 40% of its effectiveness.
These are available in many brands, but probably the most popular is a product called X-Change.
X-Change can be used with all pesticide sprays on all crops, at all timings, and it softens hard water. X-Change also acidifies the water to pH 4.6, which is the optimum for chemicals to work at, and has a “built-in” humectant and anti-foam.
A customer of ours who grows 400acres of trees had recently been considering ‘giving up’ on using glyphosate between the rows as they were struggling to gain control of certain weeds even when used at rates over 4L/ha. Since using X-Change in conjunction with glyphosate, they have managed to control the tougher weeds such as nettle & volunteer rape at rates as low as 2.5L/ha.

Click HERE for more information and prices of X-Change

The map below shows the areas of hard water.

Adjuvant Oils
We supply a product called Phase 2 which is a quality methylated rapeseed oil. While its principally used as a ‘sticker’ to get the spray solution to adhere to the leaf better, they also can help reduce drift & also the rain-fastness interval. When treating waxy or large weeds such as Ragwort or Ivy we would recommend to use Phase 2 in order to help the chemical penetrate the leaf cuticle. Through our in house trials we have seen Phase 2 improve the results of glyphosate by as much as 20%.

Click HERE for more information about Phase II

The image below shows what a spray droplet looks like under a microscope when it touches the leaf. The top is a standard droplet, and as you can see they often bounce or splash off the leaf. The bottom is when used with Phase 2 the droplet sticks and spreads across the leaf and is fully absorbed into the plant.

If you need any more information about these innovative products that can save you time and money then please get in touch

0800 133 7849

Paddock & Lawn Fertiliser

Fertilising paddocks and lawns in the spring

February and March is the key time to be looking at putting fertiliser on your grass. Whether it is for a paddock or lawn, it is a vital part of getting the grass off to a good start. The grass has been sat looking sorry for its self for a few months and there is no better way of giving it a kick start than a dose of fertiliser.

The common approach on grassland is to fertilise every spring, the same as the previous year, but this is not always required. The only way to gain a proper understanding of what nutrients your grass needs is to take a Soil Sample. This will give you a full breakdown of what the grass is deficient in, and then you can treat appropriately.

However, if you do not wish to do this, and just want to give your grass a general feed, please read the notes below.

NPK – What is it?

You may have heard of NPK, but are unsure exactly what it means or does. It refers to the three major nutrients for plant development, they are; Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) & Potassium (K). These are all vital in the growth and development of all plants, but grass in particular.

Their key functions are listed below



Nitrogen Constituent of all proteins & chlorophyll
Phosphorus Transport of sugars & oils, and also constituent of nucleic acids
Potassium Controls water movement and loss, is also involved in nutrient and sugar transport

 In simple terms, this means the nitrogen promotes the lush green top growth we all like to see, while the Phosphorus & Potassium promote the root growth which is vital to support lush top growth.

If you just fed the grass straight nitrogen it would not be able to produce enough nutrients from the roots to maintain the large amount of top growth, and inevitably it would become very deficient and probably die. This is why it is important to give the plant a balanced amount of nutrients.


For standard spring treatments use 1x25kg bag of 20-10-10 Fertiliser per acre. This equates to just over 60kg of fertiliser per hectare. At this rate it would be advisable to treat again towards the end of summer to give the grass the nutrients it needs for the winter.

If you only plan to treat once in the spring, it would be advisable to treat at 100kg per hectare of 20-10-10 Fertiliser which would equate to 40kg per acre, or about a bag and a half.

If you have moss in your paddock, you could also consider using Weed Feed & Moss Killer, while this will not fertilise your grass to the same extent as 20-10-10, it will give it a general greening up whilst killing the moss. All of these treatments should be used in conjunction with things like rolling, chain harrowing & resting.

Avoid having horses or pets on the treated area until all of the fertiliser prills have dissolved into the soil.


Fertilising lawns can be as complicated as you want to make it. A lot of people will give a single treatment of 11-5-5 Fertiliser or Weed Feed & Moss Killer in the spring and that is sufficient. However, if you are looking to have the manicured bowling green of a back garden, you may want to look at some more specialist products which have low amounts of Nitrogen in them. If this is the case then please contact us for more information.

If you are looking for a liquid feed then use Maxicrop Lawn Tonic which is a seaweed extract that is used as a moss killer, but it will also give your lawn a general feed.

lawn fertiliser


In Summary

  • In a bag of 20-10-10 Fertiliser you would get 20% (N) Nitrogen, 10% (P) Phosphorus & 10% (K) Potassium.
  • In a bag of 11-5-5 Fertiliser you would get 11% (N) Nitrogen, 5% (P) Phosphorus & 5% (K) Potassium.
  • In a bag of Weed Feed & Moss Killer you would get 9% (N) Nitrogen, 2% (P) Phosphorus, 2% (K) Potassium & 4% (Fe) Iron Sulphate

Contact us on 0800 1337849 or email for more information, alternatively visit



Moss Killers In Grass and Hard Surfaces

It’s that time of year when the tough task of trying to get rid of moss arrives again. Whether it be on driveways and patios or in the lawn, it can not only be unsightly, but also dangerous causing slip hazards.

There are many ways of getting rid of moss and they are usually messy and hard work. Power washing driveways and patios will generate a lot of water and sludge to remove, and you also run the risk of breaking down the pointing between slabs or washing away the sand around block paving. When power washing, it is rare that you will kill the moss, you just blast the top growth off and it will usually regrow.

When removing moss from lawns, raking is time consuming, back breaking and creates large quantities of waste to dispose of. Using a scarifier is easier, but still produces a lot of waste material and can also pull quite a lot of grass up too.

At Agrigem, we can offer a wide range of solutions for all situations. For all hard surfaces we have MMC Moss Killer

MMC Pro is very effective on thick clusters of moss

Moss killers - agrigem ltd

When controlling moss in lawns, there are a few options available. If you want to apply a liquid product, we offer Maxicrop Lawn Tonic , a highly effective moss killer made from natural seaweed extract. It also has a range of nutrients in it which helps to green up the grass for a quick fix. It can work very quickly and results can be seen within hours given the right conditions.

We also offer two solid based moss killers for application with a Garden Spreader. The first is Weed, feed and moss killer, the second is Lawn sand

Weed, feed and moss killer is a granular based product that will kill moss as well as some weeds such as daisy and plantain. It also has fertiliser in it to give the grass a boost and help it to green up.

The Lawn sand is similar to Weed, feed and moss killer, but does not have the weed killing aspect to it, nor will it give the same amount of fertilisation. This product is probably the cheapest way of controlling moss, and will also help your grass harden off and prevent diseases.  

For green keepers and golf course managers, we also supply Mogeton. This works very well in killing moss by restricting photosynthesis and also lays a residual barrier to inhibit moss regrowth for weeks after application. Just one application is required each season making it the choice for professional users.

Kerb Granules & Kerb Flo

With winter upon us and temperatures lowering, now is the time to think about applying Kerb for winter & early spring weed control. Kerb is a pre or post emergent selective weed killer which is mobile in the soil. Kerb is safe to use around a wide range of Trees, Hedges & Shrubs making it an easy & safe option for controlling competing weeds.

Kerb comes in two forms, you can either spray Kerb Flo as a liquid, or you can spread Kerb Granules either by hand or using an applicator. The active ingredient in both products is Propyzamide which when applied, forms an invisible barrier on the soil surface which will stay there for a few months (depending on weather & soil moisture). When weeds try to grow through this they are killed before they even break through the surface. For propyzamide to work effectively it is important that you only apply it when soil temperatures are below 8 degrees Celsius, and there is good soil moisture.

Kerb Granules is better suited for applying round Trees (including Christmas Trees) as you can evenly distribute the granules to exactly where you want the weed control. We would recommend using Kerb Flo on larger areas such as spraying a long stand of hedgerows, or treating large amenity areas.

Treating Trees, Hedges & Shrubs with Kerb can give them a large boost by removing the weeds which are competing for sunlight, moisture & nutrients. When treating new trees it is important that they have been established for at least 4 weeks to ensure no damage is caused.

The picture below shows two trees which were planted at the same time. The large one on the right was sprayed using Kerb (and other products) to form a weed free barrier of 0.5m, the smaller tree on the left was just left to compete against them.tree weed control


Kerb is very strong against all grasses, but it will also give a good amount of control against some broad leaved weeds such as Chickweed, Buttercup, Small nettle & Marestail. If you are using Kerb Flo then consider mixing in Flexidor 125 to increase the spectrum of weeds controlled.

For more details please visit us at

Merry Christmas from all at Agrigem!







Cheap Weed Killers


When it comes to controlling weeds it does not have to be expensive. Depending on what weeds you are trying to control, it can actually be very cost effective.

If you are trying to control general weeds in driveways & Paths, we have a product called Slingshot 5L.

This is a cheaper version of main brand Roundup and will control just about every common weed, while being incredibly safe to the environment and the operator. The chemical moves around the plant and will kill the whole root.

For controlling general weeds, you would apply at 400ml per 10L of water. This would cover 1000m2 and would cost approximately £2.31. This equates to £0.002 per m2.

This is a cost effective treatment that really works! agrigem7

If you are wanting to control weeds in grass, our most cost effective product would be Depitox 5L. This will control a good range of weeds including Buttercup, Plantain, Daisy & Thistle.

Apply at 150ml per 10L of water. This will treat 1000m2 and will cost approximately £0.75. This equates to £0.0007 per m2. This is a very cost effective way of eradicating grassland weeds.




Killing Horsetail & Marestail


Horsetail or Mare’s tail (Equisetum arvense) is an invasive, deep-rooted perennial weed that spreads quickly to form a dense carpet of foliage. This will crowd out less vigorous plants in beds and borders.

Horsetail is an aquatic weed, but we are finding it more and more in areas away from water. It has deep roots which spread horizontally with fast-growing rhizomes (underground stems) that quickly send up dense stands of foliage.

Horsetail is easily recognised by its upright, fir tree-like shoots that appear in summer. In spring, fertile light brown stems, 20-50cm (10-20in) tall, appear with a cone-like spore producing structure at the end of the stems. In summer, sterile green shoots develop into fir tree-like plants, 60cm (2ft) tall.

Removing horsetail by hand is nearly impossible. This is due to the fact that the roots can be deeper than 2 meters, and as soon as you break that root, it will shoot off into another plant, often making the problem worse

The only way to control it effectively is with a chemical treatment. While there are many products which claim to do the job, this is not always the case. Any product containing glyphosate will not penetrate the waxy leaf of the Marestail plant.

Broadshot 1L  is a strong selective weed killer, which is very effective against Marestail, as well as a range of other weeds. It has three active ingredients in it meaning you have a multiple attack when trying to control tough weeds.

Broadshot 1L is also safe to use on grass, so Marestail in grass is not safe either!

Use Broadshot at 40ml per 1L of water for outstanding results.

For spraying around plants or trees we suggest not using broadshot as there is a risk of damage. Instead, we would recommend using a product called Whippet 500ml



Weed Control Around Trees

Weeds around young trees don’t just look unsightly, but they can also create a lot of work strimming and weeding. Most importantly, young trees do not like competition and weeds are competing for moisture, nutrients and sunlight. They can also be a microclimate for insects and diseases which could effect the health of the tree.

Leaving weeds to grow naturally around new trees and hedges can reduce its growth significantly. In a trial for the forestry commission over a 3 year period, a 38cm transplant Oak tree was planted with no weed control and grew to 50cm, while the same sized transplant with a 0.5m weed free diameter grew to 1.8m, a clear sign of the value of weed control.

There are various ways to control weeds around Trees and Hedges, the most common is to Strim or mow. This is not only labour intensive but also can harm or kill the young trees. Others use membrane or polythene around the base, but this only has a limited lifespan and weeds will often find a way through.


The only effective method is to spray a weed killer around the tree base. You can either use a residual product which will prevent any weeds growing, or you can use a contact herbicide which will kill any weeds which it touches.

The standard practice would be to use a product such as Kerb Flo or Flexidor 125 through the winter period. This will give you a good start to the season by keeping weeds suppressed for a matter of months. As the season progresses, you can top it up with a residual product such as Ronstar Liquid, providing this is before the end of June. After this time you will have to look to use a contact herbicide. This could either be a selective (will only kill grass) or a total (kills everything).

Harvest is a safer alternative to glyphosate around trees, and it will control a range of grasses and broadleaved weeds. Care must be taken not to treat the tree with this product, but it will withstand some chemical onto the stem around the base of the tree. This is a fast acting herbicide which will burn off any weed growth in a matter of days, however, larger perennial weeds such as docks may need another treatment.

Gyr is a selective weed killer which is safe to spray over the top or many trees. It is perfectly safe to the tree, but it will kill any grass weeds it touches. Its selective nature means it is a very safe way to control grass in and around tree bases.




All the information into tolerant species and dose rates can be found on our website