Controlling brome weeds in arable farming

This field lab is part of the ADAS project ‘Investigating the distribution and presence, and potential for herbicide resistance of UK brome species in arable farming’, funded by AHDB.

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Field Lab Timeline

    6/18/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • First meeting

    First meeting
  • 6/26/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • Field lab proposal

    Field lab proposal
  • 6/30/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • Methodology agreed

    Methodology agreed
  • 7/4/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • Brome mapping - seed heads

    Brome mapping - seed heads
  • 9/12/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • Cultivation control trial

    Cultivation control trial
  • 9/29/2019 11:00:00 PM
  • Mapping - pre-drilling plant numbers

    Mapping - pre-drilling plant numbers
  • 12/31/2019 12:00:00 AM
  • Mapping - emergence

    Mapping - emergence
  • 1/10/2020 12:00:00 AM
  • Field lab meeting - interim results and discussion

    Field lab meeting - interim results and discussion
  • 3/30/2020 11:00:00 PM
  • Mapping - emergence

    Mapping - emergence
  • 7/15/2020 11:00:00 PM
  • Results and decision on second year

    Results and decision on second year
For further information hover over the above milestone marks
  • Discussion

    To see the latest activity please log-in (group members only).

  • Achievements

    June 2019

    Monitoring and controlling brome grass

    An informative session with Dr Laura Davies at ADAS Rosemaund updated the group on the latest understanding of brome grasses and the issues in the UK. One of the key challenges for farmers and scientists in tackling brome grass is understanding the emergence patterns of the different varieties of brome.

    Laura guided the group through identifying the 5 key species of brome, however with hybridisation and some similarities between species identification remains a challenge. As part of a wider AHDB funded project, those participating in this field lab are able to send in brome samples to ADAS for identification and testing for herbicide resistance.

    The group agreed that understanding the emergence patterns of brome would help them develop their control approach, and it was agreed that the initial approach would be to monitoring brome emergence.

    Milestone: Methodology agreed

    June 2019

    Procotol: monitoring brome emergence

    Brome emergence monitoring protocol

    - Select a field that has a history of having brome issues

    - Select five locations within the field where there are patches of brome and use the google maps app or another GPS app to record the location.

    - At each of the five locations in July identify the brome species present (website links to support ID available in the protocol document at the top right of this page, along with contact details for ADAS to help with species identification)

    - There will be four assessment timings
    1) July – brome seed heads
    2) September/ October – pre-drilling plant numbers
    3) December – plant numbers
    4) March – plant numbers

    - In July count the number of brome flower heads in a 30cm x 30cm square at each of the 5 locations in the field and record on the assessment sheet.

    - In September/ October, December, and March, use google maps or another GPS app to go back to the same 5 locations in the field. Count the number of brome plants in a 30cm x 30cm square at each location and record on the assessment sheet.

    - Note any changes you observe in the field at each visit.

    - Where possible obtain a record of the post-harvest and pre-drilling cultivations done in the field, and the herbicide programme used throughout the year of assessment.

    Milestone: Methodology agreed

    June 2019

    Field Lab meeting June 19th

    The first meeting for this field lab is on June 19th at ADAS Rosemaund near Hereford (HR1 3PG) with a 10am start followed by lunch. For more information and to book your free place, see

    This field lab will connect farmers and agronomists with researchers from ADAS. The discussions will develop a plan for further on-farm research on aspects of control that are of concern for group members, this may include looking at what cultivation types, depths and timings are most effective at controlling the weeds.

    Surveys have shown that sterile brome is the 2nd most problematic grass weed in the UK, after black-grass. Brome is not just a problem of the North and the West as previously thought, all species are widespread in arable areas and appear to be causing increasing problems. Bromes are highly competitive weeds, with infestations of sterile brome with populations as low as 5 plants/m² causing up to a 5% yield loss.

    For more information, or to register your interest if your are unable to attend the meeting, please contact Laura Davies:

    Milestone: First meeting

    May 2019

    Blog post by Dr Laura Davies

    Do you have a problem with brome on your farm? Are you interested in getting involved with a group of likeminded farmers and agronomists to help solve your problem?

    Dr Laura Davies gave us an update on brome research for this new field lab with ADAS, find it here:

    Milestone: Field lab proposal

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