Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Blackgrass Saga - Series 1 Episode 3.

Now I don't want everyone to think that I am completely besotted with blackgrass, so I would like to state that I do pursue other interests and hobbies.

A conversation this winter, with another farmer, revolved around 'growing a crop' or 'controlling blackgrass'. It was agreed that it was quite difficult to try and do both on the sort of soil types that blackgrass thrives in. A dry September can lead to poor stale seedbed germination, a wet October can then lead to slugs, colder soil temperatures, compaction and difficult drilling conditions.

So on walking across one of our worst blackgrass fields, it was clear we had a sprayer malfunction. (A dodgy solenoid in the blind section behind the sprayer). However, it did highlight how important a 'pre-crop emergence' spray of glyphosate can be. Whilst not all the blackgrass was controlled where we had sprayed, these pictures do rather tell a story about where glyphosate was not applied.

This field was mole ploughed, a stale seedbed formed with a light disc and press (about 5cm in depth) and drilled on the 10th October 2014. It was sprayed with 1.5l/ha of glyphosate 360 on the 25th October.

Blackgrass rules in the tramline

The wheat has a better chance to get away

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