Blackgrass in cover crop options

Longneck

Member
Had a walk over one of my cover crop fields today, oats, radish and vetch but in the bottom is a pretty thick carpet of Blackgrass.

The plan was to graze it off with sheep next month then dd oats into it in April.

Now thinking if I should kill it off soon before it goes to seed?
 

Timbo1080

Member
Location
Somerset
If it has heads on, in a decent cover, then I'd flail top the heads (as low as you can go) now rather than spray it off, and thereby not lose the entire cover - if you top now, it definitely won't produce another head this year, and you won't've killed your cover crop either, as everything in that mix (including the Bg), will survive a topping.
If it hasn't heads on it, then don't worry, it isn't going to get any this year.if you find ANY that is flowering, I'd get the topper out, followed by the can.
I have absolute confidence in this where I farm, but have no idea where you are, so may very well stand corrected.
 
If it has heads on, in a decent cover, then I'd flail top the heads (as low as you can go) now rather than spray it off, and thereby not lose the entire cover - if you top now, it definitely won't produce another head this year, and you won't've killed your cover crop either, as everything in that mix (including the Bg), will survive a topping.
If it hasn't heads on it, then don't worry, it isn't going to get any this year.if you find ANY that is flowering, I'd get the topper out, followed by the can.
I have absolute confidence in this where I farm, but have no idea where you are, so may very well stand corrected.
Have some bunny hugging stubbles which I topped three weeks ago to remove oat and BG ears, only helped it tiller now twice as bad and potentially big ears not usual late season ones.
 

Timbo1080

Member
Location
Somerset
Have some bunny hugging stubbles which I topped three weeks ago to remove oat and BG ears, only helped it tiller now twice as bad and potentially big ears not usual late season ones.
It's put on new big ears already? Wow! It has been very mild and wet I suppose. I don't think it'd do it again though....3 weeks ago I'd be in 2 minds whether I'd top or spray, but there's a big difference between then and now, climatically.

Edit : However, if the cold weather doesn't come, then I see no reason except daylength, that it wouldn't put on another head, I guess. If I was looking at the BG as a crop, I wouldn't be holding out much hope for seed set this year.....
 
It's put on new big ears already? Wow! It has been very mild and wet I suppose. I don't think it'd do it again though....3 weeks ago I'd be in 2 minds whether I'd top or spray, but there's a big difference between then and now, climatically.

Edit : However, if the cold weather doesn't come, then I see no reason except daylength, that it wouldn't put on another head, I guess. If I was looking at the BG as a crop, I wouldn't be holding out much hope for seed set this year.....
I've got a feeling that the sheep may be about to escape! Would be a nice green solution.
 

Will7

Member
If it is thick in the bottom, I would spray it off now as spring crops do not like being drilled into thick blackgrass residue, even if it has been sprayed off 6 weeks pre drilling in my experience.
 
We have the same issue. Ours won't head as its being held back by the cover and doesn't look happy, what worries me is it may take two passes to kill the bg 1st to spray off the cover and 2nd to spray off any bg that didn't get any spray the first time. At this time of year we don't Get many spray days so thinking next time we can go we might spray some off.(n)
 
If it is thick in the bottom, I would spray it off now as spring crops do not like being drilled into thick blackgrass residue, even if it has been sprayed off 6 weeks pre drilling in my experience.
I couldn't agree more. We have left BG until March and had a good kill but nothing grew in the areas where it was very thick. It needs several months to decay before the next crop is drilled, the smaller the seed ie: OSR the longer it needs to be left, beans and wheat are more tolerant. We have sprayed off all of our fields destined for spring crops where we have a BG problem.. they are now yellow. Hopefully we will get another hit before the spring germinating BG has more than two leaves. We are going to plough a few field before linseed just so that we will bring up old BG seed which I hope will be susceptible to Centurian Max as even that has not worked on some of worst BG. Spring cropping and cover crops are a great help in containing BG but we are going to have to go for two spring crops on one block of land (Sp Beans - Linseed) not very profitable but better than BG infested wheat costing (£) over a ton/acre to contain (not control or eliminate)
 

Will7

Member
we are going to have to go for two spring crops on one block of land (Sp Beans - Linseed) not very profitable but better than BG infested wheat costing (£) ov
This is an interesting approach. I would be loath to turn up any seed hoping the chemistry set might work ( we're you being tongue in cheek??). You have selected the 2 least competitive crops for blackgrass control.
I have a large historic blackgrass burden, but spr beans, followed by spr barley followed by wosr( c max, full rate kerb and crawler) has not cleaned the field up sufficiently for winter cropping so will now get 2 spring barleys followed by spr beans and then hopefully a wheat crop, 6 years since the last!
 
I have sprayed off some of my spring crop land after wheat
I main reason is that any wheat volunteers increase the takall in the wheat after the spring break crop I have seen higher levels of takall following the straw trails when we had bare land setaside sprayed off in the spring
volunteers also spread wheat deseases to neighbouring crops

the next reason is that on heavy land too much cover holds in moisture in a wet time the soil surface canot dry out but in a dry time I have had late march planted crops in to a green cover and no rain till may struggle to get established because it was too dry 75 % of the years are either too wet or too dry

If bg is heading and flowers collect some seed and put them on a tray of compost and try to grow them to see if they are viable

round here they do not head unless they are plants that were cut off at harvest and regrow from the established base
 

Simon C

Member
Location
Essex Coast
If bg is heading and flowers collect some seed and put them on a tray of compost and try to grow them to see if they are viable
Blackgrass may not germinate in compost. It likes wet anaerobic, bacterialy dominant soil with little fungi. Most weed seeds will stay dormant until their favoured conditions are present, don't know how they know this, but they do.
 

Andrew K

Member
Location
Essex
Spoke to the RPA today about this at Crop Tec, their view is no intervention is allowed with sheep or sprays/topper until Jan 16.I would be allowed to hand rogue any heading blackgrass though !!
 

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