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Black-grass, the farmers’ nemesis

Innovation Centres
Drone shot of cultivation trial

James Southgate, Syngenta Field Technical Manager is conducting a 5 yr project at our Barton Innovation Centre, this is year 3, where James talks about the impact on black-grass using different cultivation techniques.

Black grass emergence

The field in question was drilled on 26 October 2018 (not yet emerged, but chitted). It was drilled in the same direction as last year. ‘We have four different cultivation techniques across 12 metre plots: minimal tillage, deep cultivation, shallow cultivation and no cultivation, says James. Looking to see how these techniques stimulate black-grass emergence pre-drilling and within the crop. We have an area across all techniques where glyphosate hasn’t been used’, continues James.

‘Looking at these plots, you can see that the shallow cultivated plot had more black-grass emerged prior to drilling, this also reflects the results from 2017’, comments James.

There are still many questions that need answering that James hopes to be able to tease out of this trial….. What is the impact on black-grass by cultivating the soil just prior to drilling, when establishing with a low disturbance drill? Is it better to use cultivations to stimulate the black-grass and spraying off pre-drilling, or will this also promote more to emerge post-drilling?

Watch out for further updates…..