Blackgrass after two year Spring break

Douglasmn

Member
I know it's easy to know how better to farm other people's land (or think you know how to anyway), but is blackgrass not something that has been brought about by farmers themselves, as opposed to chemical companies/machinery dealer/salesmen etc? Genuinely asking here, not trying to imply I do actually have the answers. Firstly I've never seen BG in real life, secondly I'm no farming expert even without it! Is it not safe to say though that non-inversion tillage combined with less then ideal rotations cause problems? Don't lots of people choose non-inversion because it seems like the cheaper and easier option in the short term? And easy rotations with the goal of short term gain?
 

Jack Russell

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Holderness
I don't think cultivation systems are particularly to blame, more just doing them badly. Rotations haven't helped. Which have then put a greater reliance onto the chemistry available. I'm sure there are many other reasons both major and less so, but I think the killer was rotation and pressure from commodity prices to cut cost out and so not do seedbeds/cultivation so so well.
 

franklin

New Member
Don't lots of people choose non-inversion because it seems like the cheaper and easier option in the short term? And easy rotations with the goal of short term gain?
No, they choose it because of what the land looks like after its inverted. Something like this. And there is a complete difference between non-inversion of 2" pass with discs and press twice, rolling after each pass in good conditions after linseed, and trying to haul a solo 9" deep through damp chopped wheat straw. There is also the matter that in 18 hours I can maybe plough a 22ac field including headlands. Or terrano more like 200ac. Using the same fuel. And the ploughing will leave a worse finish.

Anyway, this is going a fair way off topic.

I'd spray off any masses of BG this side of Christmas if the land would travel.
 

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Timbo1080

Member
Location
Somerset
My experience, which is sorely lacking in empirical data, suggests to me, that a decent cover of BG will appear to prevent more from germinating.....may well be competition for nutrients or light, allelopathy etc, and not suggesting otherwise, but if I have a "healthy" covering of small BG, akin to a lawn, I would be in the habit of spraying it off. If more comes, great, if not, great. Now I'm going to hide before I get torn to shreds by people with much more experience and empirical backing than I!
 

Jack Russell

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Holderness
I don't have hard evidence to prove anything, just my own experiences. which sadly come from having had too much and now having slightly less than too much. I feel like I am at least heading in the right direction.
 

B'o'B

Member
Location
Rutland
It's a loads of bullocks.

The experts don't know anything about BG. One minute they were saying shallow tillage and multiple glyphosate passes, then they said ploughing, then they went Spring crops, then they were saying cover crops and now no till is the latest saviour.

They have to say something to keep selling things! It's their fault BG is around because they pushed everybody into ww/osr rotations because that maximised their income due to the inputs you needed to produce those crops.

They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about. How many experts actually farm land themselves and write the cheque's?
Have the trade really forced farmers into ww/wosr short rotations?
Looking at a spreadsheet of Gross Margin most years winter wheat and winter rape would occupy the top slots on a combinables farm, is that not the reason a lot of farmers went to that system? It is also a relatively simple system to run with minimal labour and machinery. The trouble is the chemical costs of keeping that show on the road have risen to the point where in many situations the Gross Margin of other cropping now look competitive again, combine that with land getting rape sick and there is now a financial incentive to change. I have heard a lot more farmers moaning about the three crop rule than I have heard agronomists. Your picture shows that black grass problems aren't solely reserved for farms with 100% winter cropping and service agronomy.

I think the problem with black grass advice is the trade do trials and one year the weather favours one control method/system, so the trade and press promote that system the next year. But then the weather favours another system of control and so that system gets more press the following year, so on and so on....
 
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Fromebridge

Member
Agronomist
Location
West Glos
Not assuming we are 'experts' referred to, but I don't think we've ever said two years' spring crops will significantly deplete black-grass, just that in bad cases one year has little difference but two will start to show a benefit over two-years' winter cereal. It's all relative, see. We are never going to get rid of it, it's all about keeping it at a manageable level.

Jim Orson has said much on the topic, the allelopathy debate discussed here:

http://www.niab.com/blog/post/162
 

richard hammond

Member
Agronomist
Not assuming we are 'experts' referred to, but I don't think we've ever said two years' spring crops will significantly deplete black-grass, just that in bad cases one year has little difference but two will start to show a benefit over two-years' winter cereal. It's all relative, see. We are never going to get rid of it, it's all about keeping it at a manageable level.

Jim Orson has said much on the topic, the allelopathy debate discussed here:

http://www.niab.com/blog/post/162
Please do not assume you are the spurts! mentioned, non of us have the answer, we only have opinions.
 

Douglasmn

Member
Nope its where a tractor had accessed the field to get to the far side. No chemicals since 4l of glyphosate in late august before the cover was no tilled in.
What will be the plan for that field then to get rid of the weed? No till spring crop after round up. Deep ploughing to bury it all? Round up in spring then fallow all summer?
 
What will be the plan for that field then to get rid of the weed? No till spring crop after round up. Deep ploughing to bury it all? Round up in spring then fallow all summer?
I 'think' we are lucky in the fact that all of the seed bank is currently on the surface. This field was completely bg free 3 years ago and the soil hasn't been moved since. 2 years ago we sprayed off a very small area about 20m x 40m because we found about 20 plants. This year the field was much thicker with it but the decision was taken to take the crop through to harvest (spring wheat) knowing that we would get a seed fall but also know it was on the surface.

So its got a cover crop for greening until Jan 1st (think thats the date) at which point it will be sprayed off before being drilled with linseed in April. It will be sprayed at least twice if not 3 times, then we will use full chemistry in the linseed. It will probably go a 2nd spring linseed or a grass. If it goes grass it will be down for 3 years before trying a no till 1st wheat.
 
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Douglasmn

Member
I 'think' we are lucky in the fact that all of the seed bank is currently on the surface. This field was completely bg free 3 years ago and the soil hasn't been moved since. 2 years ago we sprayed off a very small area about 20m x 40m because we found about 20 plants. This year the field was much thicker with it but the decision was taken to take the crop through to harvest (spring wheat) knowing that we would get a seed fall but also know it was on the surface.

So its got a cover crop for greening until Jan 1st (think thats the date) at which point it will be sprayed off before being drilled with linseed in April. It will be sprayed at least twice if not 3 times, then we will use full chemistry in the linseed. It will probably go a 2nd spring linseed or a grass. If it goes grass it will be down for 3 years before trying a no till 1st wheat.
Is that a sign that not moving any soil isn't the solution? Is that your only field with no soil movement for 3 years?
 
Is that a sign that not moving any soil isn't the solution? Is that your only field with no soil movement for 3 years?
Could be although nobody really know does they?

We have 3 fields (approx 150ac) that have had no soil movement. They are all prone to Ryegrass and have been for many years, but the BG is new to us. Luckily the field pictured is the worst by a long way. The second had some very small pockets of BG and the 3rd is clear.

Wet clay soils drained in the 70's so drainage may not be helping although there is no lying water.
 
Could be although nobody really know does they?

We have 3 fields (approx 150ac) that have had no soil movement. They are all prone to Ryegrass and have been for many years, but the BG is new to us. Luckily the field pictured is the worst by a long way. The second had some very small pockets of BG and the 3rd is clear.

Wet clay soils drained in the 70's so drainage may not be helping although there is no lying water.
spring crops are not the answer to bg with one field on one farm but they can be the answer depending on when the spring crop is planted and which spring crop is grown
in my experience on heavy land which does not suffer from drought to control bg the spring crop must not be planted too early 1 april is a good date but the 15 is better even using avadex and other preems
even later may not control the bg as some seed will germinate in may and june if it is given enough water and space
imho spring wheat will be the worst spring crop as it is planted too early and has a lot of n used to grow it mid april spring beans or may planted linseed are much better
bg needs nitrogen for prolific seed production so any crop with low nitrogen application reduce seed return
if I use spring cereals for bg then they are a first cereal two consecutive cereal crops will just make bg worse
if you have wall to wall bg in a crop it will take more than 2 year to eliminate it
the experts underestimate the effect that notill has on improving the effects of residual herbicides
kerb gives very good control with no till or autocast mostly above 98% which eliminates bg from the low bg fields if you have a high enough rape plant establishment
low rape seed rates are only for bg free fields
 
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Corteva Agriscience Announces 2030 Sustainability Goals to Increase Agricultural Resiliency

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