Even the most intractable and costly grassweed problems can be overcome with the right management, the necessary determination and sufficient time.
Understanding, commitment and flexibility are the main keys to success.
To ensure the most cost-effective grass weed control you must know exactly what problems you have and where.
Understanding the biology and behavior of your most threatening weeds or weed mixtures is the only way to reliably manage them.
At the same time, mapping the scale of your weed problems and their location between and within fields ensures you can target the most appropriate controls for the best results and value.
Gone are the days when you could reliably control most grass weeds with a timely herbicide spray.
Available chemistry can still be very effective. But in many cases you will find the combination of herbicides you need to tackle the problem both expensive and highly dependent on weather and seedbed conditions for success.
To reliably and cost-effectively deal with problem grass weeds you should take full advantage of every cultural control opportunity you have in a thoroughly integrated way.
When you do things is as important as what you do in both your chemical and cultural control.
Ploughing can really help you get on top of black-grass and rye-grass, for instance. If you plough two years in a row, though, you can easily make the problem worse.
Plough under the wrong conditions and you can also do more harm than good. And drilling too early even after effective ploughing can be equally counter-productive.
Rather than shoe-horning cultural controls into your existing practice, you must be willing and able to do things differently.
You should also be flexible enough to change what you do depending on the needs of individual fields and both ground and weather conditions.
Sow a spring crop if you can’t get a good enough seedbed to for late autumn wheat drilling, for example. Equally, be prepared to grow two spring crops in a row, if necessary.
Persistence is equally essential if you want to stay on top of grass weed problems.
Fail to keep up the pressure with the most effective cultural controls and increasing problems of herbicide resistance and a declining chemical armoury mean you could rapidly find yourself back at Square One.
In view of its central importance in almost every control strategy, it’s especially crucial everyone guards against the risk of glyphosate resistance development by employing it in the most effective and integrated ways.
Maybe you are falling behind, maybe you are ahead in the battle to manage your Grassweed challenges. There is only one way to find out and that’s with our unique Grassweed tracker which has been carefully designed to let you benchmark your activity with other farms in your area and throughout the UK. It only takes a few minutes and could give you valuable insights.