What the experts say
Farmers Weekly’s new five-part series looks at how growers can counter the “three Rs” of resistance, regulation and returns to secure the future for a sustainable farming system.
Growing resistance to pesticides, fewer new miracle agrochemicals – and greater regulation for their use – as well as falling returns caused by lower grain prices are forcing a radical rethink in the arable heartland of Britain.
We will consider the use of longer crop rotations to help control herbicide-resistant weeds, boost yields of crops such as oilseed rape, and improve soil fertility.
With a dwindling number of pesticides available, we will examine the importance of mixing modes of action to protect their efficacy and cultural techniques to support the use of herbicides.
After the fall in wheat and oilseed rape prices, what alternative crops are available to help boost returns while benefiting the soil?
Over the next five weeks, we will look at the immediate problems and possible solutions, from cultural controls to rotations.
We’ll pay a visit to the home of the Norfolk four-course rotation, and interview a scientist who has spent over 40 years looking at way to control blackgrass.
In East Anglia, we meet a grower who is changing his rotation to improve weed control and his soil structure, plus take a look at whether the use of biopesticides could be an answer.