Knowledge Hub Article

Couch - Why was couch a major problem in the UK?

In a survey published in 1910, Couch was reported to be the most problematic weed of arable crops in the UK, just ahead of charlock. 

This situation continued right up until the mid-1970s due to the lack of effective herbicides and the limitations of cultivations as a means of control.  This all changed with the introduction of glyphosate – a rare example of how a single highly effective herbicide can almost totally eliminate a major weed problem.   Couch continues to be a problem on organic farms and in some perennial crop situations where it can be difficult to apply glyphosate without damaging the crop.