13 March 1998

Modified crops could help fight blackgrass

GROWERS in the UK believe herbicide resistant crops will help control resistant blackgrass, according to recent AgrEvo research.

Liberty Link crops are not affected by Liberty, a total herbicide based on glufosinate-ammonium, as in AgrEvos Harvest and Challenge.

"Liberty has a different mode of action to current graminicides. That will allow farmers to use fops and dims on cereal crops where there is little other choice, and use Liberty on oilseed rape," says AgrEvos Pierre-Louis Dupont.

Farmers main concern is being tied to one variety, which may not suit their area, he points out. "But we have released the gene to several breeders. That means there will be a range of varieties, both hybrid and conventional, from which to choose." That will lead to competition, ensuring prices remain competitive, he maintains.

Control of resistant volunteers is another concern, he admits. "However, in the case of Liberty Link products, farmers will be using a chemical which is not currently used for volunteer control." Plants are still susceptible to glyphosate and other herbicides.