Results have been published by Monsanto from a national grass-weed study it conducted in 2016 which shows a sizeable increase in grass-weed problems on farms compared with an earlier study carried out in 2000.
The 2016 study involved 386 growers farming a total area of 165,000 hectares (407,550 acres). The average winter cereals area for each grower was 230ha (568 acres). Percentage of winter cereals grown had fallen from 67 per cent in an earlier study conducted by the company in 2000 to 53 per cent in 2016.
While 86 per cent of growers used plough-based establishment in 2000 with 14 per cent on min-till, in 2016 only 30 per cent ploughed with 70 per cent using min-till.
In the 2000 study, growers said black-grass was a problem on 34 per cent of their winter cereals area, wild oats on 30 per cent and brome on 11 per cent. Equivalent figures for the 2016 study were 46 per cent, 27 per cent and 19 per cent, respectively.
While 74 per cent of the farms surveyed in 2016 reported an increase in black-grass in recent years, compared with 31 per cent in 2000, 38 per cent reported that brome had increased compared with 26 per cent in 2000.
In terms of controlling grass-weeds in general, 62 per cent of respondents to the Monsanto survey said they were considering growing more spring crops and 53 per cent were looking at improving stubble weed control. Eighty-five per cent said grass weeds were the most pressing problem they faced with 95 per cent saying that without glyphosate, their weed management would be almost impossible.