Battling Black-grass Together
BASF is on a mission to bring scientific experts, growers and agronomists together to take down black-grass. Sharing the latest scientific advice, and hearing from farmers on the front line, we want to create the ultimate guide to eliminating black-grass and other problem grass weeds.
Knowledge is power
We’d love you to share your knowledge and top tips for battling black-grass on farm. All you need to do, is send us a top tip for battling black-grass weeds, and you could win one of our 200 black-grass resistance tests, which will include a full report on your field.
10 stop journey
Battling black-grass is a journey. There’s no silver bullet, but a series of decisions and practices carried out throughout the season.
1. Measurement & Roguing
If you don’t know the extent of your black-grass infestation, you won’t know If your efforts are making a difference, or even worse, if the black-grass population are increasing.
2. Resistance Management
Black-grass resistance to herbicides is one of the main reasons controlling the weed is so challenging. Resistance strengths can vary, with some strains becoming increasingly aggressive and difficult to control.
3. Reducing Spread
Another reason black-grass is so difficult to control is how quickly it can multiply. This is why you need 97% control to truly irradiate the effects of black-grass on your farm, and why nothing can be left to chance. Ensuring seeds are not spread by completely avoidable activity is a crucial part in ensuring your black-grass strategy does not include a one step forward, two step back approach.
4. Soil Health
Compared to most arable crops, black-grass thrives in cold, wet soil conditions – so they have the competitive advantage from the off, both in terms of physiological development and seed survival. There are some things you can do to make the early life of black-grass a little more difficult, and at the same time consider the long term health of your soil.
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.
Cultivation is a widely discussed and much debated topic when it comes to black-grass control. The real key though is to know when you need to bury it, and when you need to just leave it alone.
Achieving optimum establishment conditions depends on the previous cultivation depths, however, the general principle is to try and avoid disturbing weed seeds when drilling.
8. Spray Application
The goal for pre-emergence herbicides is to get the spray evenly distributed across the soils surface. The key spoilers preventing one achieving this are; the displacement of the spray, by the wind at the time of application, the forward speed of the machine, and the consequential shadowing effect of clods. The most uniform application will be achieved on smooth seedbeds, at low windspeeds, and low forward speeds.
9. Chemical control
It is now widely accepted that over-reliance on herbicides has led to the resistance issues we now face in the UK. That being said, it is still one of the most vital managing black-grass. When used with effective cultural controls, the right herbicide can make a huge difference to the success of your black-grass strategy.
When it comes to managing black-grass, resistance to herbicides isn’t just a fly in the ointment, it’s the barrier stopping UK growers regaining complete control over their fields.
Battling Black-grass Q&A sessions
At the Real Results Virtual Farm, we held a series of Q&As earlier this year which were focussed on black-grass. Watch a recording of the webinars below.
You don’t need to battle black-grass alone. That’s why we’ve got the best minds in the business together to help you on your journey with black-grass control, with the best possible advice. New for this year, you can also hear from growers on the front line, who know just what it takes to move the needle on black-grass control.