26 November 1999

Barley weakens weeds fgfgfg

MOST growers are familiar with the weed smothering effects of barley. But now it seems still greater competition could be going on below the soil surface.

Root exudates from Greek barley variety Thermi significantly reduced the root growth of mustard in Reading University trials. British varieties Fighter and Intro, and wheat and rye cultivars, had no effect or in some cases increased mustard growth.

Exploitintg the Greek varietys anti-weed abilities is on the cards, says research student Vaya Kati. "We need to isolate the gene responsible for the effect and include it in other cultivars – it should be possible to breed it into British lines."

&#8226 More from BPC Conference, pages 52-55. &#42