Black grass menace tops topics at GYS seminar

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Driving forward improvements in agriculture and the battle to combat black-grass will be the subjects of an industry seminar at next month’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Combatting the invasive weed is a problematic issue for many farmers, so the breakfast seminar will provide an update on the latest research and tactics on the final day of the show in Harrogate on Thursday, July 16.

The event is being organised by the Farmer-Scientist Network which is run by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, hosts of the Great Yorkshire Show.

Professor Rob Edwards, head of agriculture at Newcastle University and chairman of the Network, said: “Black-grass is a serious threat to UK arable farming and in particular, to winter wheat production.

“Infestation currently affects 34 counties in England, predominantly in the east and south, but it is now moving north and into Yorkshire.

“There is reported herbicide resistance in over 16,000 farms so this has the potential of a national emergency in terms of winter wheat production.”

He added: “The seminar is an opportunity to hear the latest on ground-breaking research towards the first steps in the control of this invasive weed and will provide farmers with the knowledge and long-term planning tactics needed to deal with it.”

A farmer’s perspective will be given by arable farmer Tom Allen-Stevens of Oxfordshire, whilst Dr Paul Neve, a senior research scientist at Rothamsted Research, will address understanding resistance in black-grass. Joining them will also be Professor Rob Freckleton, of the University of Sheffield, who will offer thoughts on the affects of black grass in the North of England.

The seminar will take place from 8.15-9:30am at the Regional Agricultural Society’s offices at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

For more details and to register please contact Holly Jones at the Farmer-Scientist Network on 01423 546251 or email hollyj@yas.co.uk