Sterile, or Barren brome is predominantly a problem in winter cereals. It robs crop yield and causes lodging where it’s left uncontrolled.
It is an annual grass 20-100 cm tall, upright until anthesis then disappearing below the crop as the weed matures.
Sterile/Barren brome is becoming increasingly common in the UK due to shallow and no till cultivations.
|Leaves||Finely pointed, covered in short hairs|
|Ligules||Blunt and serrated, up to 6mm|
|Seeds produced per plant||Up to 200 per plant|
|Seed shed||July to October|
|Germination period||August to October (98%)|
|Germination depth||Up to 5cm|
|Primary dormancy||Generally none, but varies between populations|
|Secondary dormancy||Leaving seed on the surface exposes them to light and dry conditions enforcing dormancy on a small proportion of seeds|
|Seed longevity||1 - 2 years|
|Factor promoting germination||dark|
|Rate of decline with cultivations||90% per year|
|Geographical location||Found throughout England, Wales and the arable areas of Scotland, up to altitudes of 350m Sterile/Barren brome’s natural habitat is field margins and headlands.|
|Soil Type||All soil types|
|Rotation||Population increase is favoured by cereal monoculture, early autumn cereal sowing, no-till cultivations and a lack of break crops.|
|Impact||Sterile/Barren brome is very competitive and 10 plants m² will cause a yield loss of 8% in winter cereals. Will also cause the crop to lodge at high populations.|
|Herbicide resistance||None known in UK (Suspected but not proven)|