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Grass weeds on tillage farms

Grass weeds are an increasing problem for Irish farmers.  Growers are reporting more weeds encroaching from headlands, more difficult to control weeds in field and new grass weeds coming onto their farm.  The most problematic grass weeds are; wild oats, sterile brome, canary grass and blackgrass.  Other grass weeds such as annual meadow grass, Italian rye grass and scutch can be problematic in some years or on isolated farms. 

The key to controlling grassweeds are;

  • to correctly identify the grass weed
  • understand the weed biology (how the weed grows, sets seeds and spreads seeds)
  • identify the cultural control methods to help control
  • Utilise appropriate herbicide strategies to control the weed and minimise herbicide resistance

Teagasc are currently running a large project (Enable Conservation Tillage or ECT) across the country to help farmers and the industry better cope with these weeds in conventional and reduced cultivation tillage systems.  With the help of 10 focus farms and other project partners, the project is utilising existing knowledge, along with local farming conditions, to co-innovate solutions to control grass weeds and to better utilise conservation tillage techniques.  For more on the ECT project click here.

Susanne Barth Grass weed management