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Choice of crop is an important building block of effective weed control. Once a good understanding of weed populations is in place, following crops can be planned with black-grass control in mind. When planning crop rotation, consider the following factors:

Cover crops can help improve soil health

Having a robust crop rotation in place will improve nutrient cycling and soil condition. This will subsequently create a better seed bed for crop establishment and allow better water uptake and drainage. Cover crops can be useful for this by adding organic matter, drawing moisture from deep soils and improving soil structure. This will give better tilth which will promote good crop establishment, so the crop can outcompete weeds.

Diversifying cultivation techniques can disrupt black-grass

By growing a range of crops over a number of seasons you have the opportunity to adopt different cultivation timing and methods. This can interrupt the life cycle of black-grass and prevent populations becoming persistent.

You can limit herbicide resistance

Growing a broader range of crops will mean there is less strain on one herbicide type. This can help limit the development of herbicide-resistant weeds and provide better chemical control season to season.

You can spread risk, and better manage your time and costs

By having both winter and spring drilled crops, risk can be spread, time and labour will be under less pressure, and more concentration can be offered to crops at vital stages throughout the season. It will also mean there is greater flexibility when waiting for the right drilling or spray conditions.

If you have any questions, please contact your local CTM or Tweet @Bayer4CropsUK.

Black-grass

For more information on how to reduce black-grass on your farm

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