Using cultivation for weed control is key. When establishing oilseed rape after a run of cereals, the aim is to keep weed seeds, especially blackgrass, near the soil surface where herbicides, such as ASTROKerb, are most active. On the other hand, when establishing a winter wheat crop after oilseed rape, the plough may be the better tool as it can bury any remaining weed seeds deep and reduce the weed burden in the following crop.
Cultivation for Weed Control: Best Practice
Read about Blackgrass – The Potential of Non-Chemical Control By Dr Stephen Moss & Dr Peter Lutman, Rothamsted Research
Ploughing is of course the most expensive form of cultivation but it does reduce weed numbers. If undertaking ploughing you need to ensure that the soil is fully inverted. There is evidence that effective ploughing will reduce blackgrass populations in the following crop, but because buried blackgrass seed will survive for up to three years you may be bringing old seeds to the surface.
Simply using minimal cultivation without taking action to reduce the seed bank will result in an ever increasing number of blackgrass seeds.