Monday, July 15, 2019

Spring-sown pulses ‘can help beat blackgrass’

April 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Crops

Spring cropping with pulses can help to fight the ever-increasing problems from blackgrass in cereal crops, growers are bring told.

“Increasing incidences of resistance mean that chemical control of blackgrass in cereals is becoming less and less dependable with some products,” said PGRO principal technical officer Jim Scrimshaw.

With no new chemistry in the pipeline, ‘stacking’ and ‘sequencing’ existing products along with cultural techniques should be considered together to keep on top of the problem, he said.

The majority of blackgrass seed germinated from the upper few centimetres of soil.

If there had been a high seed return, then ploughing could bury seed to a depth from which germination is unlikely. This could help reduce blackgrass numbers significantly.

There was, however, the potential to plough viable seed to the surface.

For this reason, historic knowledge of blackgrass distribution and the cultivations used was useful. Current wet conditions, though, were not conducive to using the plough.

A spring crop – such as field beans or combining peas – increased the window of opportunity.

Depending on seed dormancy and the season, it may be possible to spray off up to three flushes and dramatically reduce the blackgrass population.

Rotations including spring crops could help to reduce grass weed problems in general.

“Disappointing blackgrass control in cereals may cost over £100/ha,” said Mr Scrimshaw.

Graminicides such as Laser (cycloxydim) and Aramo (tepraloxydim) were available and could be useful post-emergence in spring pulse crops.

Laser can control enhanced metabolism populations, and Aramo also had activity on target site resistant populations.

Reduced blackgrass numbers from employing perhaps more cultural techniques when considering spring pulses would hopefully mean effective control from these materials if required.

“The opportunity to drastically reduce problem blackgrass populations must have some financial worth to the farm business,” said Mr Scrimshaw.

“This is on top of the traditional advantages of pulses – the opportunity to diversify the rotation, spread the work load, acquire free nitrogen and increase yield in the following cereal crop.”

 

 

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