Why Teagasc wants farmers to send them their weeds

Blackgrass cases have been increasing in recent years
Blackgrass cases have been increasing in recent years

Michael Hennessy

The great thing about sitting on a combine is the bird's-eye view you get of all the problems in the field.

One of the most obvious problems are grass weeds waving over the top of the crop.

Here in Teagasc we are particularly interested in these grass weeds especially Bromes, Blackgrass, Canary Grass and Wild Oats.  

Depending on the management to the field you will have an idea whether the problem grass weeds should have been controlled or not by the herbicide applied. 

Where you have a doubt that the weed may be poorly controlled by the herbicide then you may suspect resistance. 

In order to confirm this Teagasc would like to get some seeds of these weeds to test them for herbicide resistance.

Knowing if the grass weed is resistant to herbicides gives you a huge advantage regarding the options available to you to control the weeds in the next few years.

How do I collect seeds from the field?  

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1. Ensure the seed is ripe (they should shake from the seed head easily);

2. Walk the field in a W shape to get a representative sample;

3. Collect about two cupfuls of seed;

4. Place the seed in a paper envelope and let dry for a couple of days;

5.  Include your name, address, and field details with the sample.

Seed samples can be dropped into your local Teagasc office or sent to Jimmy Stables, Teagasc, Oak Park, Carlow.

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