Get mapping your grass weeds

Grass weeds can escalate into a serious problem on tillage farms. Black-grass, scutch, canary grass, annual meadow grass, the list goes on and they all cause problems, affect yield and hit the farm’s bottom line.

Keeping these weeds at bay is essential. Creating a map of grass weeds for your farm may help to plan for the season ahead.

As the winter barley harvest approaches now might be a good time to get a handle on grass weed infestations on your farm.

Take note of field history and where infestations occurred during this growing season. Weeds like black-grass should be pulled, chopped or sprayed off with glyphosate.

Labelling parts of the field where these infestations occurred and how bad the infestation was can help when deciding on next season’s rotation and product choice.

If you applied a chemical to these weeds and weren’t happy with the control, note the product and rate used, as well as the timing it was applied at. The performance can then be assessed. A different product or higher rate may be needed in the future.

Rotation and break crops key to control

Noting grass weed infestations will help to decide in the crop-planning stage. Rotation can be altered to control these weeds.

For example, sowing a spring crop where black-grass is present can reduce levels by 88%.

Placing a break crop in the rotation like beans or oilseed rape is an ideal way of controlling grass weeds and can give more options for control.

Even deciding to plant winter wheat gives more herbicide options for grass weed control as a number of grass weed products can be used on winter wheat, but not on winter barley.

As the chemical toolbox deteriorates in size and more farmers move to minimum-tillage, rotation will form a key part of grass weed control and is essential to fight resistance going forward.

Once the map is made planning can start.