The Black-Grass Hub returns to CropTec in 2018 with a focus on the link between soil health and weed control.
Visitors to the Hub can hear from fellow farmers and soil specialists about how improving soil quality can boost black-grass control.
“Black-grass is still one of the biggest problems for many farmers,” says Bayer’s Ben Coombs. “We have always encouraged farmers to complement herbicides with cultural controls to maximise control. And, I think farmers have done a good job with techniques like late-drilling, low disturbance drills and spring cropping.”
According to Mr Coombs the next step is soil health because soil quality influences so many things that are important for weed control. Incremental improvements in soil quality can accumulate into a real difference in black-grass control.
“Compaction and poor drainage are known to favour black-grass rather than wheat whereas, better quality soil will promote crop vigour to outcompete black-grass. Better soil condition can also give more flexibility with crop choice and drilling date which is invaluable in the fight against black-grass to give just a couple of examples.”
Improving soil health is a long-term project and all farms will be in a unique situation. But no matter what the situation, visitors to the Hub will be able to pick up useful ideas to enhance black-grass control and soil. Throughout the event, experts from Bayer will be on hand to discuss all aspects of soil and black-grass control as well as other aspects of agronomy that are a concern on farm.
Our biggest problem in the UK is black-grass – it is stubborn, adaptable and reduced sensitivity to herbicides is common. In spite of this, there are ways to stay in control but it requires real attention to detail to make it work.
Using a post-emergence herbicide is, for many, the final step in an integrated weed management plan. It’s the last opportunity, bar hand-rogueing or spraying off the crop with glyphosate, to control black-grass and minimise seed return for the following season.