Blackgrass friend or foe!!

richard hammond

Member
Agronomist
Please read my thoughts before saying Dick Head!!

Is blackgrass a good thing as it is making us think about everything we are doing, we have started to look at cultivation systems, cropping rotations, chemical use, and of course full farming systems with regards to profit margins.I will mention I hate the problem but I also realise the can or the bag will not rid us of the problem.
When we sort Blackgrass there will be another BIG problem,
Here we go for the experts!!
 
Far too many farmers have relied on solutions in a 'can' for far too long, rather than proper farming with a sustainable whole farm rotation. FBT's and years of wheat/rape/wheat/rape and now its biting them in the arse. All imo
 

franklin

New Member
When we all switch to grass leys and spring barley, there will be ALS resistant poppies / cranesbill, and docks & thistles. It's all just farming the system.
 
I have no knowledge of blackgrass as it is not a problem here but- couch grass can be worked out in a fallow situation - or grazed hard by sheep this is what we did before glyphosate became availiable/cheaper to use.
 

Badshot

Member
Location
Kent
Couch never disappeared from here in the arable till glyphosate got cheap. it disappeared when we started pre harvest use in OSR.
 
it was not exactly killed - more kept at low level so as not to be serious or get out of control.-bit like growing resistance to chemicals only not.
 
Last edited:

Brisel

Member
Location
Dorset
Please read my thoughts before saying Dick Head!!

Is blackgrass a good thing as it is making us think about everything we are doing, we have started to look at cultivation systems, cropping rotations, chemical use, and of course full farming systems with regards to profit margins.I will mention I hate the problem but I also realise the can or the bag will not rid us of the problem.
When we sort Blackgrass there will be another BIG problem,
Here we go for the experts!!
If we didn't have blackgrass we'd have something else like meadow grass, brome, ryegrass or resistant broad leafed weeds like other countries do.

It's just a reminder to have good agricultural practice, starting with a varied rotation and adding a non combinable crop like a grass ley.
 

Deere 6430

Member
chisel ploughing or rigid tine cultivator cultivating fallow in the heat of the summer bringing the couch up to the surface to bake out was a method of control.
 
There is though a difference between control and eradication. The gap between low level / tolerance and a plant that is increasing/dominating (in the wrong place at the wrong time) = something is seriously up.
 

Godber

Member
Location
NW Essex
The 'Old boys' I remember as a kid were tormented by thistles in their day.Can remember my father battling with Wild Oats. Couch was a problem when I started out then Brome was a threat for a few years and now Blackgrass and when we have done with that there will be something else. The chemist has controlled the previous weeds so we may have to think outside the box which has begun.
 
The 'Old boys' I remember as a kid were tormented by thistles in their day.Can remember my father battling with Wild Oats. Couch was a problem when I started out then Brome was a threat for a few years and now Blackgrass and when we have done with that there will be something else. The chemist has controlled the previous weeds so we may have to think outside the box which has begun.
Does this not show how well we are adapting to our problems?

The way I see it farmers don't actually want to control blackgrass per se, they want to control it within the conditions of farming they have set themselves ie everything through a combine in august and everything planted by mid October.

Why not 3 years grass? Why not three years spring barley?
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
There is no easy way to solve the problem. Many on here going on about grass leys, spring cropping etc. That's all well and good and depends on the situation you are in, but it also has to pay the bills. Silly amounts of blackgrass (i.e. spray off wheat field in may!) are uneconomic admittedly, but for those of us with moderate blackgrass, swapping to grass/SB isn't always viable.

I did wonder if wheat were £200/t consistently whether this would solve the problem. Spring crops with lower yields would make them viable.....but then winter cropping with higher yields would pay more.

It's basic market forces. Farmers will control BG (and all other weeds!) with the cheapest method available to them, be that out of a can, or grass/SB. It purely depends on which is the most economic way to do it, and what fits with what you want out of farming.
 
Instead fearing the strength of the problem plant Focus instead on its weakness.Use whatever means it takes -even if it means mix and match. combine things to justify it.
Some systems just will not suit a particular situation even if it is forward thinking, eg,deferred grazing in livestock situation allowing docks or other grassland weeds to go to seed.
 

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A trading update from animal genetics business Genus says trading in the first four months of the current year, to October 31st 2019, has seen volumes, revenues and adjusted profit grow across its PIC and ABS pig and cattle divisions. The global pig business is benefitting from rising pigmeat prices in China, following the African […]

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