Know How / Blackgrass

Blackgrass is a major problem facing cereal growers in the UK. Herbicide resistance and glyphosate regulation means that farmers need to use a combination of chemical and cultural controls. See the latest advice on stopping the spread and how to use an integrated approach to tackle this prolific grassweed.

Advice and tips


The big question: Drill wheat early or late this autumn?

The very wet winter of 2019 left many wheat growers struggling to get crops in the ground, particularly those who opted for delayed drilling for blackgrass control. Based on that…


How new herbicides can get bad blackgrass fields back on track

Growers will need to take a field-by-field approach to blackgrass this autumn given that drilling dates, seed-bed conditions, herbicide use and crop competitiveness have been so variable during this difficult…


How to sample blackgrass for a herbicide-resistance test

Sampling and testing blackgrass for herbicide resistance can play a vital role in controlling populations of the annual weed, by providing growers with knowledge of the potential level of control…


4 reasons why blackgrass strategies are failing to deliver

Reducing the weed seed bank is a key objective when tackling blackgrass, and early results from a project looking at seed numbers suggest four reasons why farmers aren’t seeing the…

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Case studies


Cereal grower to ditch herbicides for inter-row hoe

Oxfordshire growers Alan and Richard Smith plan to cut their use of herbicides in winter wheat and spring barley after achieving great blackgrass control with a mechanical hoe. Post-emergence sprays…


Why one grower went organic to tackle blackgrass problem

Faced with a bad blackgrass problem, Worcestershire grower Adrian Steele made the bold move of going organic to successfully reduce his weed problem and improve soil health. Chapel Farm, near…


How Cambs grower has halved glyphosate use

A Cambridgeshire farmer has dramatically halved the amount of glyphosate used, and this year he successfully grew some of his oilseed rape without using the herbicide. Glyphosate is the most…


Why data is proving useful in one grower's blackgrass battle

Precision agronomy is helping a Cambridgeshire grower and his agronomist fine-tune blackgrass control and improve farm performance. Having taken the plunge and linked his precision farming data with agronomic practices…

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Why farmers should tailor blackgrass strategies to dormancy

Trials being carried out at a blackgrass research site in Cambridgeshire show that farmers can gain extra control of blackgrass with their integrated approach by taking seed dormancy results into…


Tips on getting soils and rotations back on track

After one of the wettest winters on record, it could be assumed that UK arable soils will be in desperate need of first aid before the next cropping season begins.…

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Growers advised to spray blackgrass as seed matures earlier

The stress of recent hot, dry weather has accelerated blackgrass seed maturity, meaning cereal growers should consider spraying off infested patches now, before seed viability rises over the next few…


New mode of action blackgrass herbicide set for autumn 2021

A novel pre-emergence herbicide for grassweed control, including blackgrass in winter cereals, with no known cross-resistance is expected to be available for use in autumn 2021. Luximo, from manufacturer BASF,…


Crop Watch: Rain puts pressure on delayed wheat drilling

The wet spell continues and there are fears that growers could lose their nerve on delayed drilling of wheat. Persistent wet weather is also affecting weed strategies, with many of…


Blackgrass battle hampered by wet and seed dormancy

The fight to control blackgrass could be tougher this autumn as wet weather is tempting winter wheat growers to drill early while seed of the grassweed shows high dormancy levels.…

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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: The plan that battered blackgrass in 12 months

Three Cambridgeshire growers are fighting back against a heavy yield penalty imposed by blackgrass with a new establishment system and have seen a dramatic turnaround in just 12 months. Declining…


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…


Video: Grower cuts fuel costs as new drill hits blackgrass

The need to slash soaring fuel costs while tackling blackgrass at the same time has led to a wholesale change in establishment system on one Leicestershire estate. Farming 1,130ha of…


Video: Spring crops and no-till vital in blackgrass fight

Heavy land growers wanting to put a serious dent in their blackgrass burden must turn to spring cropping and consider direct drilling – that’s the top message from Project Lamport this year.…

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