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Improved management of grass weeds in cereals - CE0612

Summarise the scientific or technical problem which you propose to address

Successful weed control has resulted in the concentration of crops on land most suited to their production. This has provided the basis for UK cereal production to become competitive on world markets. However grass weeds, notable black-grass (alopecurus myosuroides), bromes (Bromus spp.)and wild-oats (Avena spp) are threatening the sustainability of intensive cereal production of heavy land by:

· Black-grass and wild-oats developing resistance to herbicides
· Brome not being reliably controlled by herbicides
· Pollution from the use of residual herbicide used for the control of these weeds
· The high cost of cultural and chemical control

Research at LARS and ADAS Boxworth have shown that weather and soil conditions can have a profound influence on herbicide choice, efficacy and optimum timing. This information now requires further research and development to identify practical indicators and predictors of herbicide performance in order to develop improved decision rules in the field. Such information, when combined with MAFF-funded projects on the development of herbicide resistance in black-grass and wild –oats (PT0218) will help enable:

· The optimum herbicide programme to be selected in individual circumstances
· The reduction of herbicide usage
· The reduction in the environmental impact of herbicide usage
· The increase in the sustainability of intensive winter cereal cropping.
To provide improved decision rules for cost-effective herbicide strategies for the control of grass weeds in winter cereals in a range of soil and weather conditions, leading to the reduced use of herbicides.

To develop protocols to evaluate indicators/predictors of herbicide activity, such as fluoresence, position of crown roots, soil moisture, herbicide movement in the soil, rainfall and the measurement of leaf growth.

Evaluate indicators/predictors of herbicide activity in the field.

Test indicators/predictors of herbicide activity in the field as a guide to herbicide selection, dose and timing and for the prediction of the need of herbicide re-treatment.

Review results and develop decision rules based on indicators/predictors of herbicide activity.

Test decisions rules in the field.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Improved management of grass weeds in cereals   (795k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1997

To: 2001

Cost: £310,897
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Arable Farming              
Cereal Production              
Sustainable Production              
Weed Control              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops