The best strategy for banishing black grass & maximising yieldsJess Cope
Black grass is an unwanted but familiar sight on many arable farms across the UK. It is one of the most prolific weeds in England, with 63%* of farmers stating they have issues with the plant. Although there isn’t a miracle answer to your black grass problem, we can shed light on the best strategies for decreasing black grass and maximising your yields.
The Bad News
It’s safe to say that black grass reduces your crop yields. The percentage of loss in yield depends greatly from farm to farm. Black grass reduces crop yields through competition for nutrients, especially nitrogen. Average yield losses of 0.4-0.8t/ha can be expected from black grass populations of 12-25 plants/sq m. However, much higher losses of over 2t/ha are seen at higher weed densities of more than 100 plants/sq m.
The Good News
Investing in land drainage can help improve your soil structure and banish black grass for good. In order to tackle this tricky problem it is important to improve and maintain good soil structure by ensuring your land is well drained. But don’t just take our word for it, at the Cereals event in 2016, 81%* of attendees agreed that good drainage would help their black grass issue.
A customer of ours, David Jones, farms 1,150ha as part of a family partnership at Hatton Bank Farm, in Stratford upon Avon. He commented: “It is so important to maintain well drained land for the control of black grass. It thrives in wetter, heavier soils and I know many farms are still struggling to recover from the wet harvest of 2012.”
Where to go for advice?
We are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of drainage products. These include drainage pipe in coils, large diameter pipe, twinwall pipe and galvanised pipe. Our drainage products come with the UK’s longest guarantee.
Please get in contact – 0121 351 3230.
*Data collected from a drainage survey at the 2016 Cereals Event