Know How / Weed management

Find out about the main pest threats and how to control them in wheat, barley, oilseed rape, sugar beet and potato crops. Get advice on dealing with pests including flea beetle, TuYV, potato cyst nematode and slugs, how and when to apply insecticides and what a permanent neonicotinoid ban would mean.

Advice and tips


How to get residual herbicides right to fight blackgrass

Stale seed-beds and other cultural approaches can go a long way in managing blackgrass, but a robust residual herbicide programme is vital in getting the level of control needed for…


How to make the most of an early harvest to hit weeds in wheat

An early harvest means farmers can hit grassweeds even harder when establishing wheat, by making greater use of stale seed-beds. This pre-drilling strike against weeds followed by a robust pre-…


Expert advice on using rotations to tackle blackgrass hotspots

Severe blackgrass infestations are costly for farmers, resulting in large reductions in yield, as well as adding £100/ha or more to herbicide costs. The good news is that a combination…

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Farmer Focus: GM crop causes rift with neighbour

Someday there may be a book written about all the conflict caused by Monsanto’s dicamba-resistant soya beans during the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons, they might call it something like…


Farmer Focus: Challenging weed control in US soya beans

My crops look good going into August. Decent weather during planting let us get the crops planted in a timely fashion and we have had good rains that have kept…


Farmer Focus: Blackgrass threatens future of oat growing

The area around Royston has traditionally been a stronghold of oat growing – mainly winter oats, but more recently there has been a reappearance of spring oats. Winter oat crops…


Farmer Focus: No-till brings weed control challenges

The dry weather and fire threat is a distant memory now. The past six weeks have been very wet, with about 15in of rain falling on my farm in that time.…

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Case studies


Hand-roguing is a winner to stay on top of blackgrass

Spring hand-roguing of blackgrass is helping one Nottinghamshire cereal seed-producing farm to get on top of the troublesome grassweed along with a comprehensive autumn herbicide programme. Mary and Rob Smithson’s…


Why a Sussex farmer is changing his crop rotation

Sussex farmer Mark Chandler is searching for the best cropping combination for his farm near Petworth that will deliver blackgrass benefits and enable his first wheats to achieve double-digit yields. …


How one OSR grower is benefitting from companion crops

Companion cropping is helping to offset some of the risks associated with growing 120ha of winter oilseed rape on a Worcestershire farming estate. At the same time, it is supporting…


Direct drilling is within reach for one organic grower

Oxfordshire grower James Alexander hopes to increase yields while drastically cutting his diesel bill by switching to direct drilling across his 323ha of organic cropping. The direct drilling advocate already…

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Key pesticide approval changes for barley and sugar beet

Pesticide approvals are constantly changing and the latest raft are set to affect farmers growing sugar beet and cereals for brewing and distilling. Highlights include more options for weed control…


How an Aussie invention can help improve weed control

The use of a combine chaff deck at harvest, which dumps the chaff along with most of the weed seeds in the tramlines, was so encouraging last summer for one…

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Herefordshire grower takes pesticides message to MEPs

A Herefordshire grower has travelled to Brussels to tell MEPs about the vital need for farmers to have continued access to pesticides. John Chinn, co-owner of Cobrey Farms, one of…


Blackgrass dormancy very low this summer

The dormancy of blackgrass seed is very low this summer, meaning control could potentially be easier to achieve. In years with low dormancy and high germination, more of the grassweed…


Defra minister criticised for supporting Roundup on Twitter

A Defra minister has come under fire on Twitter for pledging her support for Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup. A landmark case in California last week saw a jury rule in favour…


Positive results widen Chaff Deck trial

Following a successful lone trial in 2017, the Chaff Deck combine attachment has been rolled out to a further four UK farms for the 2018 harvest. See also: Video: Aussie-built…

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Test and reviews

New Defy 3D nozzle: Sprayer operators give their verdict

Agrochemical giant Syngenta has launched its new Defy 3D spray nozzle, which will provide growers with improved grassweed control and reduced spray drift. The new nozzle is an evolution of…

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Video: 7 pre-season checks every sprayer should have

Spring is just around the corner and farmers up and down the land are drawing up battle plans about how best to tackle the impending mountain of work. With many…


Video: Cotswold farmer highlights the benefits of glyphosate

Failure to relicense the world’s most widely used non-selective herbicide glyphosate will have an adverse effect on wildlife and soil health, believes one Cotswold farmer. Jake Freestone, who farms more…


Video: Farmers explain why glyphosate is vital

Farmers are being urged to make the case for glyphosate by lobbying their MPs and MEPs to explain the agrochemical’s importance on farms. The NFU wants the European Commission to…


Video: Advice on autumn establishment and weed control

There are four core factors that determine the success of an autumn established wheat crop – soil and seed-bed quality, weed control, timing and herbicide application. Laying the foundations of…

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