29 May 2019
Rotation is a key tool in the box when creating a long-term strategy against black-grass. The aim of the game is to deplete as much of the seedbank as possible – It is the battle behind enemy lines.
We talk about rotational ploughing in the next ‘stop’ – and although there is some debate in the industry, having a long-term view of what cultivation techniques you can use with different break crops can give your battle plan the edge. Go to our ‘Cultivation’ stop for more information.
It is suggested that the move away from spring cropping and an over reliance on autumn sown cereals is one of the reasons black-grass has hit the UK so hard. 88% control of black-grass can be achieved by spring cropping, according to AHDB. That’s because 80% of black-grass emerges between August and October.
Desperate times call for drastic measures. Grass ley or fallowing breaks over two to three years can make a significant impact on heavily infested land. It is widely reported that one year isn’t enough time to make this a viable control method, but If you leave it two years you can achieve up to 90% control, by leaving seeds in the seedbank to become unviable. Fallowing is also a good way to build up organic matter in the soil, meaning you can achieve more that just the goal of integrated weed control. Click ‘Soil Health’ to read more about its impact on black-grass control.