The holistic approach to weed control
The old saying of "one years seeding is seven years weeding" has never been as relevant to tillage farming as now.
The cost of weed control is not just the herbicide to directly control the weed but also include; pre-harvest round-up, leaving the dirty headland to the end of harvest, stubble cultivation, slower/more accurate ploughing, a stale seed bed, etc.
For effective and sustainable weed control, these measures used in a planned approach will reduce weeds, especially resistant weeds on the farm.
With cost control in mind, the real business of controlling weeds comes down to your knowledge of the field (weed spectrum, crop density and growing conditions), the herbicide choice and the weather.
Increasing your knowledge
Excellent weed control can be achieved by all growers but some basic knowledge is required. In the same way as people memorise a football or rugby team from one to 15 with a few substitutes, knowing the top 15 weeds or so is essential when trying to control weeds.
Arguably the top 15 weeds in arable fields are; 1 Chickweed, 2 Charlock, 3 Knotgrass, 4 Bindweed, 5 Cleavers, 6 Fumitory, 7 Speedwell, 8 Fat hen, 9 Orache, 10 Redshank, 11 Corn Poppy, 12 Red Dead nettle, 13 Hemp nettle, 14 Small nettle, 15 Mayweed.
The reserve players, less common weeds, are Nipplewort, docks, and thistles with wild oats, canary grass and annual meadow grass strong contenders. As with every team there is always the unknown quantity and the same goes for weeds.