Sustainable control of blackgrass in cereal production systems

Herbicidal resistance against blackgrass (Alopecurus myosuroides) is frequently reported in regions with continuous cropping of winter cereals.


In the Netherlands, the problem is steadily increasing in ‘de Oldambt’ in North-east Groningen. This area is characterized by heavy clay soils, making the production of root crops virtually impossible, whereas the gross margin of many mown crops is simply too low to be an attractive alternative. Consequently, continuous cropping of winter cereals is common practice.

The low number of herbicides available for managing weeds in these crops results in repeated use of just a few compounds; an ideal environment for the development of herbicide resistance. Problems with blackgrass have steadily increased in recent years. Integrated weed management strategies, including cultural control measures and crop rotation, are needed to lessen the problem.

Research aim

In this study, the ecological and biological properties of the weed will be investigated and options to undermine the success of the species will be identified. A weed population model will be developed to quantitatively estimate the effectivity of the proposed measures in the long run.

Parameterization of the blackgrass model will be based on:

  • Literature search
  • Expert opinion
  • Experimentation