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:
- Understand which fields have the biggest black-grass problem to help plan your rotation – consider spring cropping your worst fields
- Make sure you know the expected population size in fields that are planned to go into winter wheat – drill your worst fields last
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
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.
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.