Dealing with grassweeds may not be getting any easier, but even the most intractable and costly problems can be overcome with the right management, the necessary determination and sufficient time.
This is the encouraging promise of a new on-line resource designed to provide arable managers across the country with a structured approach to regaining control over their most damaging grassweeds based on the best available intelligence.
“Black-grass problems are getting worse and spreading inexorably northwards and westwards,” pointed out grassweed authority, Dr Stephen Moss who has developed the Grass Weed Action resource with Monsanto specialists.
“At the same time, Italian rye-grass is even more problematic than black-grass in some parts of the country; brome is an increasing threat, wild-oats should not be ignored , and couch remains widespread.
“Both herbicide resistance and a decreasing chemical armoury are adding to the challenge. Gone are the days when you could reliably control these yield robbers solely with herbicides.
“To cost-effectively deal with grassweeds today you need to take full advantage of every cultural and chemical control opportunity you have in a thoroughly integrated way.”
This is precisely what Grass Weed Action is designed to do, with carefully structured frameworks for tackling all the most damaging grassweeds that can be implemented by growers and their advisers in ways which best suit their own farm conditions and circumstances.
“We have built our resource around the three keys to success in modern grassweed management – understanding, commitment and flexibility,” stressed Monsanto technical specialist, Barrie Hunt. “It gives practical guidance on regaining control of black-grass, Italian rye-grass, bromes, wild-oats and couch in separate sections, each based around six essential priorities.
“We have linked this to a knowledge hub providing the best current understanding of each weed, a newsroom offering the latest control intelligence and advice, and a growing network of industry links for extra information, guidance and support.
“Our resource also provides a special Grassweed Tracker allowing growers to benchmark their grassweed position with other farms in the area while together building-up an increasingly accurate picture of the way problems and solutions are developing across the country.
“We hope growers and advisers across the UK will find Grass Weed Action an invaluable starting point in getting on top of their particular grassweed problems.”