Cereal crops ravaged by blackgrass should be sprayed before this year’s Cereals event to get on to top of this growing weed problem.

The UK’s number-one weed has reared its ugly head in many crops and has become much more prominent in recent weeks in fields previously thought to be clean.

Tips to reduce blackgrass seed return

  • Removing viable seed is key to reducing populations
  • Final week in May/first week in June is critical
  • Apply glyphosate when blackgrass is in head – no earlier
  • Cut wholecrop no later than the first week of June

Stuart Jackson, cereal herbicide specialist at Dow AgroSciences, said that growers, particularly in the east of England, are facing some increasingly worrying blackgrass situations and should cut their losses in some instances.

He cited a week before this year’s Cereals event as a cut-off date for growers to spray off their crop or make wholecrop silage out of it to address the weed situation head on.

“Where they really have lost control, glyphosate it or wholecrop silage it, take the seed return away and seriously consider future cropping,” said Mr Jackson.

“The danger is the seed starts to fill and is viable so the more that drops on the ground, the more there is for seed return,” he explained.