Final report from the black-grass trial


After the particularly dry late spring & summer, where our spring crops have really struggled, our wheat was harvested by a local contractor on 1st August, 2 weeks earlier than we would normally expect at Church Farm.

With so little rain over the critical growing period I was not overly optimistic about my cereal yields but was pleasantly surprised that my wheat (excluding the trial field) averaged 8.40mt/Ha and the trial field itself came in at 7.86mt/Ha.

Bearing in mind how it was thinned out by slugs in October/November and lay very wet over the winter months I am really happy with this. The real take home story from this trial field however is just how effective the change in strategy in terms of low disturbance establishment and a more robust chemical programme has been on the black-grass control.

I have to admit I was a little sceptical that we would see a massive difference. However, I was given the opportunity to work with BASF and the various industry experts they brought in, so the change was definitely worth trying.  Thankfully I have been amazed at how effective the trial has been in dealing with a difficult black-grass population in this field this year. The combination of cultural and robust chemical controls has paid off.

Moving forward I will definitely be looking to adopt a similar strategy on my poorer black-grass fields in the future although I’m not quite ready to retire the plough completely yet!