Sterile brome rated as grass weed enemy number two


Sterile brome has been rated as the second most problematic grass weed in the UK, after black-grass.
The finding was part of a survey conducted by ADHB this summer, which also found that brome species had probably spread across the UK in recent years.

Brome research also revealed that farmers and advisers often struggle to identify the species present.
People are also being asked to send in brome samples for herbicide resistance testing.
Around 200 farmers and agronomists completed the brome survey this summer – making it the first major survey of UK brome since 1989.

Five species of brome grass grow as arable weeds in the UK and these belong to two different groups – Anisantha species (sterile/barren and great brome) and Bromus species (meadow, soft and rye brome).
According to the survey, sterile brome was considered to be the second most problematic grass weed in the UK, beaten to the number one spot by black-grass.

Other brome species were also more prevalent than previously thought, AHDB cautioned the survey was more likely to be completed by those affected by brome.

There has also been an increase (59 per cent of responses) in brome in the last ten years, with minimum tillage practices suggested as the primary driver behind this rise.

Brome was also not confined to a particular area within the field, as most people found it in the middle of the field, in addition to the margins and headlands.

Brome species are notoriously difficult to identify and new results presented confirmed this.
For example, of the 58 brome seed samples sent in for herbicide screening, 22 had been identified incorrectly by farmers or agronomists. People were encouraged to use the identification tools available from

Herbicide resistance in worldwide brome populations has been detected, most notably in sterile brome from France and Germany. Although no resistant populations have been officially reported in the UK, 59 respondents cited ‘resistance’ as a reason for poor brome control (ALS chemistry being mentioned most frequently).


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