Stopping the spread of grass weeds: cleaning harvest machines
Difficult-to-control grass weeds are becoming an increasing problem on Irish tillage farms. This fact sheet outlines the basics of machine cleaning at harvest and gives guidance to growers and contractors on the actions to take.
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Difficult-to-control grass weeds are becoming an increasing problem on Irish tillage farms. Increasing levels of resistance to grass weed herbicides, increased practice of non-inversion tillage, a move to earlier autumn sowing and the introduction of potentially devastating weeds from other regions, all combine to make this a very real threat to future crop production on Irish tillage farms. It is compounded by variable levels of knowledge concerning weed identification and control measures among all in the industry. We need to up our game considerably in grass weed control. The ECT research and dissemination project team are addressing many of these issues.
One critical area that all farmers and contractors must address is the prevention of grass weed transfer between regions, farms and fields. This cannot be stressed enough as the introduction of weeds such as blackgrass will threaten the viability of crop production on an individual farm. A really strict protocol must be followed which in the case of blackgrass must be an absolute zero-tolerance approach. While there are many essential actions needed for this approach a critical one is the avoidance of weed seed transfer by machinery. Other problematic grass weeds can also be introduced to farms and fields by machinery. A fact sheet which outlines the basics of machine cleaning at harvest gives guidance to growers and contractors on the actions to take.