Will putting grass into your rotation solve your black-grass problem?

Prof Richard Pywell
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Is black-grass a major problem on your farm? Are you considering bringing grass back into the rotation to control severe infestations of this weed? Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) would like to work in partnership with you to monitor how effective this approach to black-grass control really is.

As part of the ASSIST (Achieving Sustainable Agricultural Systems) research programme we want to support the UK farming industry by monitoring the effectiveness of new, farmer-led innovations such as this. We will share our findings widely so that others can benefit from this new knowledge and we can work together towards a solution. Depending on the success of this pilot project on black-grass control, we intend to roll this ‘farmer-science’ approach out to investigate other innovations, such as mixed cropping and agroforestry.

What we want to do?

All you need to do is take some soil samples from across the field just BEFORE you sow it down to grass and then repeat this sampling AFTER you have cultivated the ley for the next crop. We would also need some basic information on previous cropping, cultivation regime, grass ley composition, length of time under grass etc.

Will putting grass into your rotation solve your black-grass problem?