27 July 2001
Problems with sterile brome
Since adopting lo-till, I have experienced a large increase in sterile brome. This is causing a far greater problem than blackgrass. What measures can I take to overcome this?
Like blackgrass, sterile Brome requires an integrated (cultivation x chemical) approach to control.
A shallow cultivation will encourage germination and should be followed with glyphosate when weeds have 2 leaves.
Alternatively, burying the seed to below 12.5 cm is such an effective a method of control that rotational ploughing should be seriously considered as a management tool.
A programme of herbicide inputs will be required, starting with pre-emergence tri-allate followed by post-emergent IPU-based treatment (it is worth noting that restrictions on IPU rate will limit performance).
A specific brome herbicide sulfosulfuron (Monitor) could be used in the spring, but is not guaranteed to give full control.
If you are sure it is sterile brome then the adoption of the stale seed bed technique will improve control.
For other bromes (and blackgrass) it is best to leave the seed on the surface to germinate, but sterile brome likes to be buried to encourage germination.
However, this means creating the stale seed bed as soon as possible after the combine has left the field, otherwise you could end up waiting a long time for a chit.
Make full use of break crops to control the weed.