19 April 1996

Battling against blackgrass

HERBICIDE-RESISTANT blackgrass is coming in for aggressive treatment on Gerald Addicotts Corston Field Farm, near Bath.

It is resistant to fenoxaprop (Cheetah) products and partially resistant to IPU. John Porter, Mr Addicotts agronomist says it is the first case he has seen in the area.

The field is now in set-aside. Sting CT (glyphosate) was sprayed last autumn to kill the blackgrass. Mustard was sown to replace the green cover and will be sprayed off in May. Oilseed rape will follow. Trifluralin will sensitise weeds, followed by Butisan S (metazachlor) and a full rate of Laser (cycloxydim) as needed.

Linseed could follow oilseed rape to allow a couple of glyphosate applications in the autumn and spring. Minimal cultivation will prevent shed seeds from being pulled up – after about four years they should die, says BASF agronomist Martin Lainsbury.

Making the most of herbicides in oilseed rape is a key component in the strategy Gerald Addiscott (centre) has developed for combatting herbicide resistant blackgrass on his farm near Bath. Here Martin Lainsbury (left) of BASF and agronomist John Porter check this years crop.