Special Black-grass Management Clinic for CropTec

Company News

October 5, 2016

Special Black-grass Management Clinic for CropTec

The experience of more than 15 seasons of applied research from Agrii’s leading Stow Longa Black-grass Technology Centre will be transported from Huntingdon to Peterborough in a special management clinic at this year’s CropTec.

Agrii head of agronomy, Colin Lloyd who has run the Stow Longa programme since 2000 and trials manager, Steve Corbett will be manning the ‘Colin’s Corner’ clinic on Stand 120 to bring their wealth of practical understanding to bear on visitors’ particular black-grass problems.

“If our work has taught us one thing it’s that there are no simple solutions to bad black-grass,” stressed Mr Lloyd. “Instead, success depends on stacking the most appropriate cultural and chemical controls for the farm and season.”

Over the years, Stow Longa research has identified more than a dozen important fundamentals of effective black-grass control, including:

  • Using a rotational plough in the right way at the right time;
  • Delaying wheat drilling until late October where possible;
  • Moving to spring drilling if autumn conditions prevent late drilling;
  • Employing two (or more) spring crops in a row, if necessary;
  • Using cover crops to improve the chances of decent late autumn or spring seedbeds;
  • Sowing the most competitive wheat varieties;
  • Moving as little soil as possible at drilling to wake up the least amount of weed seed;
  • Using barley rather than wheat for early autumn sowing;
  • Sowing the most competitive barley varieties;
  • Making the best use of glyphosate to eliminate weed flushes ahead of drilling;
  • Creating firm and fine seedbeds that give the best pre-em herbicide activity;
  • Stacking and sequencing residual pre-em and early post-em herbicides carefully; and,
  • Maintaining the best possible weed control in all cereal breaks.

Even the worst infestations can be overcome with the correct management,” Colin Lloyd pointed out. “But only if the right techniques are applied in combinations matched to the individual farm challenge with enough flexibility to suit the conditions and, above all, sufficient patience and persistence.”

“Through our CropTec clinic we are setting out to help as many visitors as we can with individual guidance from our extensive cultivation systems, variety competitiveness, cover cropping, rotational and herbicide application research,” Steve Corbett explained.

“By bringing our Stow Longa research to Peterborough in this personal way, we look forward to sharing its findings directly with even more growers than we can accommodate at our extended series of Huntingdon open days.”