Grassweed issues for the Scottish Borders are diverse with brome, ryegrass and black-grass to contend with.


Neil Thomson is one of BASF’s Agronomy Manager’s and lives in Berwickshire. Neil looks after South Scotland and the North of England, where he worked previously in crop nutrition and crop protection sectors.

The region that Neil covers means that he has exposure to a wide mix of crops, soil types and weather patterns which makes every season challenging in their own right. As Neil comments:

“Following a drier than normal spring and summer, harvest has been relatively easy for us, but the nature of the landscape has given mixed results for both yield and quality. Growers finished their harvest earlier than usual which allowed cultivations to start early too.

Drilling has gone well this season with vast progress being made in a short space of time with land working up well and in most cases the best it’s been in a long time. Cereal drilling commenced late August/Early September and never really stopped with most growers being finished by the end of September or start of October.

The only land really left to drill is after potatoes with cultivations chasing the harvesters out of the gate.  Crops have been drilled into ideal conditions and rolled with the pre-emergence sprays being applied with only the wind slightly holding up some applications.

Grassweed issues in the area are diverse from various brome species, Italian ryegrass, black-grass and more recently rats-tail fescue with flufenacet providing the backbone to the herbicide programme.  Annual meadow grass and BLW’s are also a key issue for us in the North with the pendimethalin + picolinfen products doing a great job on these weeds, and from BASF trials, are best controlled either pre or early post emergence.

Where pre-emergence sprays have been applied the weed control to date has been pretty good with the odd welcome shower of rain aiding establishment and pre-emergence efficacy.  The next thoughts on the established crops will be to try and do a follow up contact spray if required to control Sterile Brome if it’s seen this autumn as conditions are favourable for it at the moment.  Including pendimethalin at this stage is good practice as will also help to top up residual activity where brome is still to emerge.

The weed spectrum in Neil’s area is very diverse so it’s important to pick the right product for the target and individual situation. Having local knowledge of the area, weather conditions and prominent weeds, Neil is well placed to give information which is right for you.

The BASF technical helpline is also a great source of information which can prove valuable when making choices where you are trying something new and need a bit more background information.

If you would like to contact Neil, for any queries on BASF products please call 07920 768287, he will be delighted to help you.

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