How to modify the germination pattern of blackgrass seed
As promised in my blog on Linseed …… Blackgrass is a troublesome weed. Cultivations and herbicides used for control increase cost of production and that reduces farm profitability especially when numbers of blackgrass plants within the following crop are still unacceptable.
This autumn one of the manufacturers offered to pay for black and ryegrass resistance testing so I thought I would accept.
That in turn made me think of “field testing” I had carried out in 2017 but not on resistance.
Looking at two basic statements on black grass biology. (AHDB.)
Seeds are produced in high numbers.
Seed dormancy and the interaction of soil moisture and temperature affect emergence patterns.
Viability of shed seed is not high so anything you can do to reduce viability is going to help. (Glyphosate, desiccation, crop type, - See the blog on Linseed)
As part of the resistance test I had to collect a high number of mature blackgrass seed. Some I have sent away for resistance testing the others I have kept.
I thought I would carry out my own dormancy testing similar to the trial I ran in 2017.
My stored seed has been subject to different field stimuli – no cost involved! I will plant it soon and monitor the results. (why not sign up for blog post via email so you can follow progress)
In 2017 the results were very clear and followed the scientific evidence on the subject.
So if you want your stale seedbeds to work, that is reduce the blackgrass burden in your next crop, best follow sound scientific advice rather than that found in marketing blurb!
Blackgrass Statistics (AHDB)
Seed longevity: 1–5 years
Seed decline: 80% per year
Germination depth: 5.7 cm
Seed weight: 1.8 mg