Blackgrass is a huge problem in Britain, with herbicide resistant populations forcing many farmers to re-think rotations, cultivation practice, and even sowing down grass for a number of years.
Up to last year Ireland had a few very localised pockets of blackgrass, Last year, however, blackgrass was spotted in fields where it was never seen before. There were not a lot of plant heads but the potential contamination risks are huge.
One blackgrass plant can produce 20 shoots and each shoot can produce up to 200 seeds. Given this, growers should treat this weed with a zero tolerance policy and should be hyper vigilant about its presence in fields. If you are unsure how to identify blackgrass (pictured right) an internet search will bring up lots of results but the www.hgca.com website is particularly useful.