The benefits of combined black-grass strategies have been quantified in a new report from AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds. Download report.
Published following a 52-month innovative programme of black-grass trials and modelling work, the results have improved the credibility and relevance of black-grass reduction figures associated with non-chemical control approaches combined with a robust herbicide programme.
The work found that most of the black-grass control advantage came from delaying sowing of winter wheat from mid/late September to early/mid October.
The most important finding was the consistent control advantage associated with improved pre-emergence herbicide performance at later drilling dates.
Dr Paul Gosling, who manages weed research at AHDB, said: “The experimental design of the trials used in this work has rarely been used before and it allowed for a robust assessment of the effects of chemical and non-chemical approaches to be tested in both isolation and combination.”
In 2014, AHDB published a black-grass solutions publication. Based on a Syngenta-funded review by Peter Lutman and colleagues of more than 50 field experiments, it put values on the control possible for a range of non-chemical approaches.
Dr Gosling continued: “The latest research findings are in line with these earlier results but the work has greatly enhanced our understanding of the power of integrating approaches to hit black-grass populations hard.
“The results have produced powerful and convincing evidence of the overall benefits of delaying autumn sowing of winter wheat as part of a strategy to improve control of black-grass by chemical means.”