Back to minimum tillage ?

Location
North Notts
I have fields full of the stuff that have previously been cleanish fields and 2 spring crops. And fields of 2nd and 3rd wheat that are clean but where dirty with bg a few year’s ago.

getting the bloody stuff to grow before planting the crop is the hardest thing here on heavy land. Stale seed bed as soon as possible drill as late as possible as much pre em as possible and rouge as much as possible seems to be the best approach for controlling the stuff on this farm. If it hasn’t grown by the time it’s ready to drill don’t drill ! But that’s the hardest bit
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
I have fields full of the stuff that have previously been cleanish fields and 2 spring crops. And fields of 2nd and 3rd wheat that are clean but where dirty with bg a few year’s ago.

getting the bloody stuff to grow before planting the crop is the hardest thing here on heavy land. Stale seed bed as soon as possible drill as late as possible as much pre em as possible and rouge as much as possible seems to be the best approach for controlling the stuff on this farm. If it hasn’t grown by the time it’s ready to drill don’t drill ! But that’s the hardest bit
I think actively trying to make it grow is actually making it worse on many farms.
 

Flat 10

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Fen Edge
I suggested 10/15 years ago that we could select for spring germinating BG with a long run of spring crops and for late germinating BG with continuous late autumn drilling. The idea was dismissed at the time as 'what do I know'. I have been proved correct for the former and will probably be on the latter.
By ploughing down BG seeds are we selecting for those that can survive underground longest when we next rotationally plough them back up?
As with most diseases, pests and weeds we need to have a multitude of control methods.
What I find quite surprising is just how quickly you can select. I took on some land with a moderate/severe BG problem. Only been in winter cereals and breaks for 15 years or more. This is my 3rd year of spring cropping and parts of the field are still terrible. Also i can vividly remember this land being a carpet of BG in winter beans 20 years or more ago but there was next to none in the following wheat despite only being sprayed post em with something like IPU and treflan. It may be rose tinted spectacles but IPU,DFF etc were used every year on this farm and other farms targeting BG (within the context of a much poorer rotation) and BG was controlled. Resistance didn't appear to arise and i'm not sure why.
 

ajd132

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Suffolk
I suggested 10/15 years ago that we could select for spring germinating BG with a long run of spring crops and for late germinating BG with continuous late autumn drilling. The idea was dismissed at the time as 'what do I know'. I have been proved correct for the former and will probably be on the latter.
By ploughing down BG seeds are we selecting for those that can survive underground longest when we next rotationally plough them back up?
As with most diseases, pests and weeds we need to have a multitude of control methods.
This is well said. Literally whatever you do it will select for it. Ben taylor Davies did a Nuffield scholarship about it a while ago.
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
Blackgrass is a great indication of biologically dead compacted fields🤔 If it is getting worse on your ground then you might need to change your rotation or system or cropd and if not you just have to put up with it... Nature will always beat man if you don't remain reactive to it..
 

Lincsman

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Lincolnshire
Not looked at this thread until just now , one question , what's this " blackgrass " you mention !!?.
Growing my last cereal crops this year , 40 yrs , never had blackgrass on the farm .
Well that's a lie in that a " away" contractor came unexpected to bale straw ( about 8 years ago)and the first two bales( in chamber from an unknown farm) came out so tight that they exploded and he rebaled . I did see unusual plants growing in those two areas and sprayed it off in the following March with round up.
In reality , I know it's a huge problem and I guess I m very lucky that with a proper rotation going back to the 80 s ,sometimes growing breakcrops which I knew were marginal however would serve a purpose and get me back to first wheat , and only having "clean" machines on farm has avoided BG.
I contract spray as well , but only saw BG for first time about 12 years ago on customers farms however it's now fairly widespread . Some fields are very bad, ie you see it in every crop and never do second cereals but most are low levels, ie you see plants but not whole areas or fields.
Anyway , my farm is going 100 % GS4 this autumn ,via HLS , never in my lifetime growing another combinable crop !
Black grass was here in the late 60's to the extent ww could be a crop failure, this was in proper rotations of the time, what changed everything was IPU and Dicurane, which worked well enough for many years until straw burning was banned, then atlantis saved to day for a few years. All we have now is late drilling, ploughing and spring cropping... in that order.
 

ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
I suggested 10/15 years ago that we could select for spring germinating BG with a long run of spring crops and for late germinating BG with continuous late autumn drilling. The idea was dismissed at the time as 'what do I know'. I have been proved correct for the former and will probably be on the latter.
By ploughing down BG seeds are we selecting for those that can survive underground longest when we next rotationally plough them back up?
As with most diseases, pests and weeds we need to have a multitude of control methods.
One field here in a 3rd spring cereal has now selected for spring germinating blackgrass, hadn't seen a spring crop for at least five years before
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
One field here in a 3rd spring cereal has now selected for spring germinating blackgrass, hadn't seen a spring crop for at least five years before

When you say selected what do you mean? I have been around Blackgrass for nigh on 50 years and have seen it germinate in Autumn and Spring. So to me Spring germinating Blackgrass is not a new phenomenon. I am perplexed by various posters on here that refer to Spring germinated Blackgrass as some sort of evolutionary change? Not meant as a knock to you - just inquisitive.
 

ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
When you say selected what do you mean? I have been around Blackgrass for nigh on 50 years and have seen it germinate in Autumn and Spring. So to me Spring germinating Blackgrass is not a new phenomenon. I am perplexed by various posters on here that refer to Spring germinated Blackgrass as some sort of evolutionary change? Not meant as a knock to you - just inquisitive.
Well because in winter cropping the majority of blackgrass that is germinating is in the autumn and as there is an established crop in the spring not much is germinating then.
When spring cropping you've sprayed off all the autumn germinating blackgrass and the stuff that stays is what germinates in the spring. This population of spring germinating blackgrass then grows.
Not an evolutionary change, just a change in weed bank
 

Hindsight

Member
Location
Lincolnshire
Well because in winter cropping the majority of blackgrass that is germinating is in the autumn and as there is an established crop in the spring not much is germinating then.
When spring cropping you've sprayed off all the autumn germinating blackgrass and the stuff that stays is what germinates in the spring. This population of spring germinating blackgrass then grows.
Not an evolutionary change, just a change in weed bank

Mmm. Not sure I agree with your logic. To me your muddling germination periods. But each to their own. If it were not for Slender Foxtail I do wonder what farmers would have to theorise about and magazines have to fill their pages, and hangers on like me have to cogitate about. Cheers.
 

ben__adamss

Member
BASE UK Member
Mmm. Not sure I agree with your logic. To me your muddling germination periods. But each to their own. If it were not for Slender Foxtail I do wonder what farmers would have to theorise about and magazines have to fill their pages, and hangers on like me have to cogitate about. Cheers.
We would have to talk about the weather even more
 

robs1

Member
Mmm. Not sure I agree with your logic. To me your muddling germination periods. But each to their own. If it were not for Slender Foxtail I do wonder what farmers would have to theorise about and magazines have to fill their pages, and hangers on like me have to cogitate about. Cheers.
I have no doubt that bg is charging to germinate more in spring, there is no argument that it is resistant to many chemicals now purely due to selecting resistant strains by natural selection why wouldnt it select for later germinating traits by the same process, IE early germinating ones are killed by pre ems and early contact chems allowing later ones to grow, cross pollinate and seed thus increasing the seed bank of late types.
 

Huno

Member
Arable Farmer
In the last autumn 21 and spring 22 season we tried broadcasting easy germinating cover crops into cereals at the same time as blackgrass sheds its seed... the deliberate cover crop partially germinated in the autumn and partly in the spring in the cereal crop... plants are clever and will only grown when conditions encourage it.. during the last growing season brome and grasses from seed out competed the expensive cover crops purely in terms of germination.. all are now terminated and we have a clean field of spring laureate barley..
Other farmers who saw it last autumn had a hissy fit from the visual aspects... change management equals controllable weeds and avoid buying expensive cover crops from dealers if you can😉.. keep the profit in your pocket.. not theirs...
 
Black grass will germinate at any time if there is seed and moisture
It modus operandi is produce millions of seeds 70 % may often be sterile but 30% still leaves millions
A lot germinate in the autumn
Leaving plenty for the spring
But some will wait till later in April may and June if it rains and there is light on the soil
There will still be plenty to have a go on the autumn following

early drilling every season only came in in the late 1970s when ipu came along
3 winter cereals followed by osr drilled all in September was the most profitable rotation

dry cooler March aprils delay the bg germination in the spring leaving more seeds for may germination

the only option is rotation of crops drilling date and chemical

if 3% are late germinating and they produce 1 plant per 10 m squared 10 heads with 300 seeds
300 seeds per m

the biggest problem is what works one year doesn’t work another year
Or what works in one field doesn’t work in the next field
30 to 40 years ago Chemicals worked every year if applied well
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
When you say selected what do you mean? I have been around Blackgrass for nigh on 50 years and have seen it germinate in Autumn and Spring. So to me Spring germinating Blackgrass is not a new phenomenon. I am perplexed by various posters on here that refer to Spring germinated Blackgrass as some sort of evolutionary change? Not meant as a knock to you - just inquisitive.
I think you are right, it's just that BG builds up more in autumn cropping.
 

Humble Village Farmer

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Cb97ej
We would have to talk about the weather even more
Yes, its adaptability is what makes it such an adversary.

Of course you don't know how much the chemical industry isn't telling us. It might be a very easy weed to control but it's a handy source of income for them. I heard of a herbicide spend per hectare of over £200 recently.

Maybe I'm just a bit too cynical...
 

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HSENI names new farm safety champions

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) alongside the Farm Safety Partnership (FSP), has named new farm safety champions and commended the outstanding work on farm safety that has been carried out in the farming community in the last 20 years.

Two of these champions are Malcom Downey, retired principal inspector for the Agri/Food team in HSENI and Harry Sinclair, current chair of the Farm Safety Partnership and former president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

Improving farm safety is the key aim of HSENI’s and the FSP’s work and...
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