Top Tips

The consequences of a lack of weed control can be devastating from crop yields. But, there are a number of things you can do to help control weeds on your farm.

Below you can see top tips for keeping your equipment clean to stop the spread of weed seeds around your farm. You can also see the top tips from farmers, agronomists and experts on our bus tour to see how they battle black-grass.

If you have your own tip, please share them here to win a VIP place at our battling black-grass conference.

Top Tips

Growers, manufacturers and contractors share their top tips on how to #keepitclean

"Weed seeds could be lurking on your machinery. Remember to #KeepItClean and blow down your machine.

"Run the machines cleaning cycle for around 30 seconds between each field".
James O'Meara
Territory Customer Support Manager, John Deere
"If the weed burden is very bad, we send the straw to a power station".
David Sedgley
Silverwood Farms, Rutland
"Blow down the combine on a suitable clean-down area of the farm where work's already been done".
Eric Wright
Director of Wright's Agriculture
"Keeping kit clean is vital, it's just another tick in the box for black-grass control".
Richard Hinchliffe
“Always keep a brush in your tractor cab”.
Ruth Stanley
Campaign Manager, BASF
"Use a leaf blower to clean out your machine".
Eric Wright
Director, Wright's Agriculture
"We harvest weed infested area's last to maximise combine hygiene".
David Sedgley
Silverwood Farms, Rutland
"Use every function available to you that the designers have thought about to help you clean your machine".
James O'Meara
Territory Customer Support Manager, John Deere
"Only black-grass free crops are baled to ensure muck is returned seed free".
Keith Challen
Farm Manager, Belvoir Fruit Farms
"Keep the leaf blower in the twine box so it is on-hand".

Click here to see a video guide of James using the leaf blower

James Troon
Skilled Operator, Wright's Agriculture
Get on board the black-grass bus.
The Bus Driver
Good black-grass control starts with good cultivations.
Growing spring wheat for 5 years, helps to control black-grass.
Graham Desborough
There is no single solution to black-grass control!
Attention to detail!
- Timing
- Technique
- Attitude!
John Cussans
Be brave and embed cultural and rotational practices with robust herbicide chemistry. No shortcuts = success!
Mike Green
Information is key to black-grass control. Join the bus tour to learn more...
Don't grow wheat!
P. Vickers
Delay drilling.
Philip Wright
Minimum disturbance drilling.
Mike Wareing
The majority of black-grass seed emerges from the top 2" of soil. Remember this when planning cultivations.
Sarah Cook
All over coverage, particularly the back of clods.
Tom Robinson
Inter row-hoe.
Will Yerburgh
If you can't spray it, don't drill it.
Chris Hewis
Rotation, rotation, rotation.
Guy Smith
Pull the first plant you ever see.
Use ALL the tools in the toolbox.
# Stale seed beds
# Delayed drilling
# Chemistry.
Colin Mountford-Smith
Hand rouge it!
Take a hand sprayer when field walking to spray off black-grass with round up.
David Coates
Grow spring barley.
Neil MacKechnie
Don't buy bought-in seed.
Colin Bowron
Choose a spring barley with strong straw characteristics for seed rate support.
Grow Clearfield OSR to give broader weed control and vigorous smothering varieties - of course.
Hand rouge black-grass out.
Norris Wilson
Spray off any black-grass as soon as it appears.
Tracy Hodgeson
Closely monitoring - keep at it!
Nick Stott
A program of many things - good cultivation, chemical assistance and rogue it!
Brian Turner
Clean down machinery and use your own machinery. And clean feet!
Malcolm Reed
If you get one plant blitz it!
Andrew Watson
David Paxton
Introduction of winter beans.
James Watson
Rouge & map to keep black-grass numbers down.
Raby Estates
Zero tolerance to black-grass when you first see it.
Nigel Peacock
Don't spread seed from field to field.
Simon Mortimer
Crop competition is very important.
Duncan Findlay
Steam clean your combine, try to do own thing, not contractors.
Chris Green
Use of Claydon Terrablade.
Edward Hicks
Get a team of people to hand rouge.
Richard Hicks
Don't move too much soil during cultivations.
Tom Knowlson
Increase water volumes for spraying.
Gordon Hirst
Don't grow a cereal crop where black-grass grows.
John Bainbridge
Split autumn herbicide spray twice to maximise performance.
Paul Lawrie
Spray off black-grass in standing crops.
Ian Bird
Lengthen rotation "farm it out".
Philip Wright
Don't combine small patches, set fire to them after harvest, glyphosate before and after.
Nigel Peacock
Be pro-active, don't ignore it.
Jayne Kendal
Stale seedbed. Late drilling.

Do your own spraying so you can see what's in the field.
Jonathan Fryatt
Bring back straw burning.
John Hicks
Prevent seed return.
Iain Ford
Use Greenlight Grower Management from Muddy Boots to capture, photograph and share data on problem weed areas.

Open minded to proposed solutions.
Quentin Ham
Create a good sterile seedbed.
Rhodri Davies
Don't plough it back up.
Robert Hadley
- Rogue low population.
- Cover crop and spring crop in high population.
Tom Pope
Autumn cover crop followed by spring cropping.
Scarlett Sentenbien
Delay drilling.
Brett Pointing
Later drilling into sterile seedbed.
Ryan Lanfear
Low disturbance drilling.
Joe Redman
- Spring crop is best
- Mapping is essential
- Take the crop out at the right time.
John Clark
300 black-grass heads per sq mt at £162 per tonne will cost £540/ha in lost yield.
Steve Dennis
Get the seed bed right so crop grows and herbicides work.
Shamus Foster
Hammer the crop with pre-em's.
Stuart Martin
Listen to expert advice.
Ruth Stanley
Spring cropping.
Jonny James
We're only just starting to see black-grass.
Martin Carr
Don't bring seed onto the farm.
Ian Eastwood
Good ploughing.
Shane Reed
Clean the combine after a field with black-grass.
Pete Stevens
Lengthen rotation to give you more options.
Martin Stuart
Don't grow winter crops in a black-grass situation.
Richard Tresidder
0.6 of Axial still working for me.
Paul Gregory
Use black oats and vetch as a trap crop.
Matt Siggs
Attention to detail.
David Holmes
Ensure tyre pressure is correct to prevent wheel slip.
Tom Goodwin
Spring cropping.
David Sedgman
Really clean all contractor kit.
Use your own equipment.
Balers are worst.
Archie Montgomery
Only grow 1 wheat crop before a break.
Matt Hallett
Prioritise contractors to get clean machinery before doing any work.
Colin Dening
Keeping an eye on the crop and report any patches.
James David
Sow a cover crop and direct drill in the spring.
Phil Vickery
Restrict farm machinery movement between fields with and without black-grass.
Andrew Doble
Delay drilling.
Michael Harvey
I'm Dr. Sarah Cook, come and talk about black-grass control with me today.
Dr. Sarah Cook
Forward and back facing nozzles.
Alec Ayton
Reduce soil disturbance.
Dan Hawes
Stop drilling early take the hit in Spring.
Daniel Norman
Cut off black-grass heads with a strimmer above crop.
Dave Eagling
Bury it and leave it under.
David Butler
Varied rotation Spring and BL crops.
Delay drilling until October.
Create stale seed beds.
David Tydeman
Patience with drilling.
Slow spraying.
200 ha water volume.
Stack chemicals.
Derek Austin
If in doubt get the Glyphosate out!
Field drainage.
Full scheme followed by more draining.
James Faulds
Where possible, hand pull.
Zero tolerance.
Jeremy Squirrell
Rouge out as soon as you see a problem.
John Ayton
Keep up to date with relevant publications.
Don't drill before end of October.
Make sure fields are drained.
Paul Jolland
Ploughing to keep seed down.
Philip Pendle
Grow a variety which can be drilled late.
Roger Williamson
Spring cropping makes the biggest difference.
Scott Martin
Spot spraying with a knap-sack.
S. Brooke
Use a diversity of chemical modes of action.
Tim Martin
Hand held weed wiper in trials.
Tom Pirkis
Good Husbandry.
Timely cultivation.
Anthony Pickering
Grade fields for black-grass annually and plan next year accordingly.
- Spring crops
- Late drilling
- Rotational changes.
B. Hosdell
Late drilling.
Bill Conner
Plan for black-grass. Don't be re-active.
Bob Simons
Forward speed 8Km/h 200lt/ha.
J. Brooke
Map BG areas and vary seed rates accordingly!
C. Elvidge
Take responsibility and get a grip.
Use a 3D nozzle!
Elanor Durdy
Stale seedbeds.
John Richardson
Maintain drainage systems.
Jonathan Scholey
Hold your nerve.
J. Sbyche
Put land into a grazing rotation for a few years.
Matthew Brooke
Use a leaf blower to clean down baler and combine.
Michael Dennis
Be realistic - don't forget the problem between harvest and drilling.
Pat Thornton
Map weeds as you travel through crops.
Robert Maltby
Delay drilling until late October.

Try a bit of everything.

Develop a new nozzle with a weed wipe rope.

Grow the right variety that will compete with black-grass.

Take samples for resistance testing.

Film rolled seed bed and top quality pre-em. Don't delay too late.
David Beal
Competitive crops reduce:
- No. heads
- Seed/head
- No tillers.
Matt Barnes
- Good rotation
- Pick the right variety
- Spring cropping.
Stubble rake to encourage chit.
Grass down and graze, 4 years.
Andy Morton
There is no single solution to black-grass control.
Herbicides help but they are not the answer.
Some fields may need to go down to grass.
Spray headlands with Atlantis. Hard rogue the rest.
Hand pull it. Don't let it get away.
Richard Mason
Claydon stubble rake.
Simon Marton
Spray out with knapsack sprayer.
Stephen Pease
Use a leaf blower or the air line on each tractor and blow down between fields when combining and bailing.
Simon Marton
Be secure with Crystal!

If any black-grass is expected don't drill before Oct 15th.
Tim Care
Use a variety suitable for late drilling.
Martin Brown
Clean machinery!
Zero tolerance.
Nick How
Attention to detail.
Min - till.
Lenny Stamper
1% of everything.
Chris Ascot
Use Gypsum to improve soil structure.
Chris Stevenson
Lower your wheel slip.
Gordon Brooks
Minimum disturbance when drilling in autumn and spring.
Guy Leonard
Change your rotation, why wheat? Whole crop black-grass.
Mark Corebrook
Think about how you move the soil (or not) before you move it.
Niall Atkinson
12 kph spray speed. Boom height 50cm.

Rotation. Spring barley.
Martin Craggs
Spring barley, spring barley and maybe barley again!
Adrian Howell
- Attention to detail
- On farm trials
Alex Borthwick
- Spring cropping
- Barley
- Beet
- Beans
Chris Bull
Plough early and get a good stale seed bed.

Ivor Gerry
Jonathon Scholey
Rotation including spring cropping.
Nigel Durdy
Delayed drilling rotation.
Richard Maddever
Clean the combine with a leaf blower.
Robert White