Changing the future of food and farming

Research projects

Winter grazing cereals: The effects on crop-weed competition and grain yield

Contract Period : 01/10/2014 - 31/12/2016

Main Funder : DFF

ORC Staff Contact : Dominic Amos

This project assesses the question ‘How can the traditional method of grazing winter wheat with sheep optimised to control black-grass populations?’

Project Aims:

Black-grass is a particularly pernicious and difficult to control annual weed on both, organic and conventional farms across Britain. Evolved herbicide resistance and later germination means black-grass is becoming even harder to control through normal methods of pre-emergence spraying and false seed beds.

This project aims to assess whether traditional methods of grazing winter cereals with sheep before and/or after the winter months in combination with an early sown crop can have a beneficial impact on crop weed competition without grain yield loss as a result of grazing.

ORC's Role:

ORC will manage a two year trial at John Pawsey’s Shimpling Park Farm, Suffolk. The two year trial will look at early and normal sowing timings and either grazed or un-grazed treatments in a winter wheat field with significant black-grass infestations.

Current progress highlights:

All sources of funding:

Duchy Future Farming Programme