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Black-Grass

Introduction to Black-Grass

Black-grass is the biggest agronomic challenge facing UK arable farmers. Any farmer with black-grass is taking steps to reduce the population and farmers fortunate enough to be free of black-grass needs to keep it that way. Controlling black-grass is a year-round task using a wide range of cultural and chemical controls. The first step is to check populations before planning crop rotation, cultivation and establishment technique. This is followed by a herbicide programme in autumn and spring to maximise levels of control.

Black-grass

Check

Now is the time to check black-grass populations and plan your control programme.  Black-grass plants are now visible above the crop canopy, so you can take the time to note black-grass hotspots and count the number of plants per square metre. This, combined with testing seed for herbicide resistance gives you an idea of the extent of the black-grass problem and how to tackle it.

Immediate steps include patch spraying, hand-rogueing and harvest weed seed management. Looking further ahead, there is the opportunity to plan crop rotation, cultivation and establishment for the coming season.

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