1. Check

When black grass is mature and seed heads are visible above the crop

CHECK your black-grass population

Summer is a great time of year for starting to get to grips with your black-grass population. Once black-grass plants have grown above the crop canopy, take the time to confirm the location of your worst patches and the number of plants / sq m. It is also the time to take seed samples for resistance testing, and to consider how you can use your rotation to help get control of black-grass.

5 Reasons why checking the status of your black-grass will help you to control it:

  1. Understand which fields have the biggest black-grass problem to help plan your rotation – consider spring cropping your worst fields
  2. Make sure you know the expected population size in fields that are planned to go into winter wheat – drill your worst fields last
  3. Keep track of populations which might have survived control – if you have bad patches of black-grass in spring consider spraying these off with glyphosate before they set seed
  4. Keep track of populations with all crops in your rotation (not just winter wheat) to help with cultivation planning – consider ploughing if possible after a large seed shed in a crop, then leave the seed buried for 3-5 years
  5. Understand the resistance profile of your black-grass populations – plan your chemical controls with this in mind
  • Resistance tests are only as good as the sample  

    Resistance testing black-grass seed may deliver misleading results and could make the problem worse, says Bayer CropScience, unless growers pay close attention to gathering seed correctly.

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  • How to take a resistance test 

    Getting the best from your resistance test depends upon collecting a good sample which is representative of the population as a whole and making sure that it reaches the laboratory in good condition.  Watch our video on how to best collect a seed sample for resistance testing

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  • Check fields and consider glyphosate applications 

    With recent rain spurring on black-grass growth and development, now's the time to check populations and consider patch spraying with glyphosate advises Farmacy agronomist, Ryan Hudson.

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  • Map black-grass now 

    Mapping black-grass patches before seed shed could help growers with management next season, after what has turned out to be a challenging season for grass-weed control.

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