Barley Barley Crop Icon Brassicas Brassicas Crop Icon Sugar Beet Sugar Beet Carrots Carrots Icon Leeks Leek Icon Maize Maize Icon Oilseed Oilseed Icon Onions Onions Icon Other Cereals Other Cereals Icon O R T Peas And Beans Peas and beans Icon Potatoes Potatoes Icon Salad Crops Salad Crops Icon Soft Fruits Crops Soft Fruits Icon Top Fruits Crops Top Fruits Icon Wheat Crops Wheat Icon Calendar Calendar icon Arrow Next Arrow Previous Close Checkmark

Straw rake and roll: beating black-grass on heavy land (press release)

Cambridge, 21st August 2012–


Growers on heavy land have been thrown a black-grass control lifeline, thanks to a team of independent agronomists who were frustrated at being unable to deploy full cultural control techniques for their clients. 


Using a straw rake and roll makes stale seedbeds a realistic option for reducing black-grass numbers on heavy land, say independent agronomists J K Senior and Sons, following a demonstration held in Yorkshire this week.


“Cultural control is our number one weapon against black-grass,” says Simon Senior. “But on heavy land, any cultivation deeper than 10mm followed by even a little rain leads to dire conditions and makes this type of land completely unsuitable for travel. 


“Like Bayer CropScience, we have always emphasised the importance of cultural control as being an essential part of any grass-weed control programme.  In the battle against black-grass our growers always had a significant handicap, since stale seedbeds have not been a viable option.


“The straw rake and roll may change all that, however,” enthuses Mr Senior.


The machine in question is the Tillso straw rake and roll.  Convinced of its potential as a black-grass germinator that preserves soil structure and water drainage, JK Senior and Sons chose to share their insight and organise a demonstration.


“Tickling the soil surface at a depth of no more than 5mm, the rake evenly distributes straw, shaking seed onto the floor and exposing it to UV light,” explains John Cook, commercial technical manager at Bayer CropScience, who supported JK Senior and Sons’ event.


With the roll following, this ensures good soil-to-seed contact.  Importantly at this depth it doesn’t impact on the structure of the upper soil layer, so that even with heavy rain, the soil retains its drainage qualities.


“Even distribution of straw also maintains the efficacy of pre-emergence herbicides,” he says.  Mr Senior agrees. “Product falling onto accumulations of straw, rather than the soil surface, is missing its target and will not be as effective.  Pre-ems in particular are designed to ‘seal’ the soil surface; germinating black-grass must grow through this layer, absorbing an effective dose of herbicide.”


For an image to accompany this release please visit 


For further information:

Issued by:

Chris Cooksley

Natalie Reed

Bayer CropScience

+44 (0)1223 336615

+44 (0)1608 637805

Find more information at


About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 7.255 billion (2011), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and traits. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global workforce of 21,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at:


Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conformthem to future events or developments.