3. Crop

Crop competition gives black-grass a hard time

Using your cropping to help control Black-grass

Manipulating the crop you’re growing to help control black-grass is another building block towards effective black-grass management. By delaying drilling, choosing a more competitive variety and /or increasing seed rates, you can make it harder for black-grass to grow and reproduce

5 reasons how your crop can help control black-grass

  1. Consider fallowing your worst field. Fallowing for 1 or 2 years can have a dramatic impact upon black-grass populations, as long as the black-grass is not allowed to set seed.
  2. Introduce spring crops into your rotation. A 1 or 2 year break into spring cropping is a very effective way of reducing black-grass populations. Incorporate multiple stale seedbeds between crops and make sure you select a competitive spring crop
  3. Delay drilling your winter crops. Delaying drilling until the middle of October gives more opportunities for stale seedbeds and means that you are avoiding peak germination periods of black-grass
  4. Drill using higher seed rates. Crop competition is important for black-grass control, higher seed rates give black-grass plants less room to germinate and tiller
  5. Grow more competitive varieties. Some cultivars are more competitive in the autumn than others, and establish quicker giving black-grass less room to germinate and tiller
  • Which spring crops are best for black-grass control? 

    Answers to a selection of questions on spring cropping: Which spring crops are most competitive against black-grass? Which spring crops are easiest to grow when trying to reduce black-grass populations? Which spring crops are most likely to be profitable when you have black-grass in the rotation? What plant populations should you target for a spring crop drilled to help against black-grass? What herbicide options do you have for controlling black-grass in spring crops?

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  • What to consider before growing a spring crop? 

    Where possible, spring cropping is one of the most effective ways of reducing black-grass populations in a rotation. Most black-grass will germinate in the autumn or winter period meaning that growers have good opportunities to take out black-grass before the crop is drilled.

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  • Delayed Drilling 

    Ward et al. (2012) presented at the Southern Britain Crop Protection Conference their findings on drill timings.

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