Agrovista Select - Development Innovations

Article taken from CPM

Project Lamport

A new Development Approach to controlling Blackgrass looks at different development approaches to help in the constant battle to control blackgrass.  Growers expect and are looking for new solutions from development organisations which they find acceptable.

The autumn cover crops were destroyed in early March with glyphosate and drilled on March 17th with spring wheat (KWS Willow).

This final glyphosate application was very successful and has helped in the overall blackgrass population management.  High levels of activity were observed on the further “extra” flushes of blackgrass, which occurred in the autumn.

The soil below the cover crop and the fallow were also examined at the point of drilling, and the cover crop success can clearly be seen.  As part of Project Lamport, soil moisture meters are installed in each of the 14 rotational plots to understand the mechanics of moisture removal from each of the cover crops.  Daily rainfall is measured and soil moisture measured, in real time, to provide an insight into the effect of each of the crops throughout the growing season.  This will provide invaluable knowledge on how to implement profitable rotations on the most difficult of soils where blackgrass is the main weed the drilling of spring wheat and gives extra blackgrass control as well as improvements in soil structure.  This improved structure in turn improves drainage, which has a knock on effect on the populations and control of blackgrass.  Please look to future editions and register at the website for more information. In season updates can also be followed on the twitter account @agrovistaselect.

If you are interested in a field visit please contact Agrovista or your local Agrovista Agronomist.

New developments in annual meadow grass control

Traditionally a problem in winter cereals it is now an increasing issue in spring cereals.  As well as reducing yield, AMG can persist right up to harvest and impact drying and moisture content of the crop.  In addition AMG can harbour a range of pests and diseases which can infect the cereal crop.

There is likely to be a huge seed bank of Annual Meadowgrass in most fields.  It is one of the most prolific producers of seed, bettered only by blackgrass and brome; one plant will produce about 1500 seeds.  It also has a short growing season allowing it to squeeze two life cycles into a single cropping year as well as the widest germination window of all grass weeds, and given the right conditions, can germinate all year round.

It may not reduce yield on the same scale as blackgrass or wild oats, but can hinder harvest and in extreme lodging cases it can drop yields by up to 25%.  In the south and east of England, annual meadow-grass seldom features as a problem as it is incidentally controlled by robust grassweed herbicide strategies.  In the north and Scotland AMG has become an increasing issue since the demise of certain herbicides such as relatively low doses of Isoproturon (IPU) or Chlorotoluron (CTU) which gave the grower timing flexibility in the autumn – it now requires a more complex herbicide strategy.  To address these issues Agrovista have set up a specific AMG trials programme near Northallerton in North Yorkshire.  The trial is looking at comparing activity from a wide range of existing and development chemistry at both pre-emergence and post-emergence timings in Kielder winter wheat.  In addition to this they are evaluating the performance of a range of application aids to improve performance and crop safety.  The pre-emergence treatments generally have provided the best and most consistent control.  Whilst pre-em may not be a popular  option for some farmers due to work load, the benefits in control are dramatic and would more than justify a contractor if the farm was not geared up for early applications.  In addition to providing the most effective control, the pre-em herbicide also acts as an insurance policy in case the weather prevents post-emergence applications, which appears to be an increasing concern – particularly in the northern half of the UK (an insecticidal seed treatment is also a vital tool for this scenario).  In the post-emergence trial, some of the development options look very promising at the traditional 2-3 leaf timing and will continue to be evaluated.

This article has come from the new Agrovista Select – Development Innovations newsletter.  This is a regular publication from Agrovista highlighting new technologies and innovation being developed and trialled in through the Agrovista Insite national trials series.  The newsletter is available in hardcopy or electronic format from Agrovista.  To be added to the mailing list for either format, please send your requirements to or download from the website at


26 May 2014

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