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Grass weed control in Irish arable crops

Ronan Byrne, John Spink, Tim O’Donovan, Susanne Barth

Research Impact Highlights

Industry impact: Grass weed control in cereal crops has become one of the greatest challenges to agriculture, causing higher losses and costing more to tackle than crop pests or diseases. In Ireland, sterile brome (Bromus sterilis), wild oats (Avena fatua), canary grass and black-grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) have become increasingly problematic. We mapped the prevalence of emerging grass weeds, investigated their herbicide resistance status, and collected management information from surveyed fields. We discovered rising levels of herbicide resistance in these four grass weeds on Irish farms. This research has resulted in an awareness among growers of herbicide-resistant weeds, which has led to farmers altering management practices in response to weed control failures.

Contribution from non-research stakeholders: Teagasc advisers, especially Ciaran Collins, Shay Phelan, Michael Hennessy and the Irish seed trade.

Other contributors and collaborators: Paul Neve, Rothamsted Research, Rob Freckleton, University of Sheffield, Sarah Cook, ADAS.

Funding: This project is receiving funding in part from the Irish Seed Trade Association (ISTA).