Monday, 17 March 2014

Welland farmers benefit from research

A workshop held at Loddington on Friday enabled sixteen farmers from the Welland river basin to benefit from research carried out by the Allerton Project and others into the control of blackgrass.  Thanks to Jim Egan for organising the event and to Stephen Moss from Rothamsted and Mark Hemmant from Agrovista for sharing their very considerable research experience with us.

Blackgrass is arguably the most problematic weed affecting farmers' ability to produce food from arable land.  Few herbicides are available to control this competitive grass, and some of those that are available are persistent in water and cause considerable problems for drinking water supply.  Farmers attending the workshop were told of the importance of these herbicides in the fight against blackgrass, but also of a series of complementary measures that can be taken to control the weed.

The Welland Valley Partnership supported this workshop as part of its programme of activities to improve water quality in the River Welland, while also helping farmers to use the resources available to them as efficiently as possible.  A workshop on 19 March will address the subject of soil organic matter management, and another on 25 March will introduce visitors to the Allerton Project's new biobed.

Allerton Project Director, Dr Alastair Leake discusses the role of spring beans in blackgrass control with Welland farmers attending the recent workshop

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