Plant of the Month - April - Black grass

1st April, 2020

Artist

Illustration by Frank Duffy
https://www.frankduffy.co.uk/about-frank/
Designer and illustrator from South Wales

Why did we pick it?

Black grass is a major weed that grows in wheat fields in the UK. It damages wheat health by competing for soil nutrients. There are serious problems with herbicide resistance in black grass: in a BBSRC-funded study, 79% of the tested populations were resistant to all herbicides tested, and resistance to glyphosate may also be evolving. Losses to national wheat production are estimated at £0.5 billion a year. Through black grass, we will explore the issue of unwanted wild plants, or weeds, in plant health, and how research and innovation is helping to control them in a more sustainable way.
During our time at Oxford Farming Conference, UKRI found that farmers main plant health concerns are: flooding and black grass.

Related Content

Black grass - linked to weed herbicide resistance: https://bbsrc.ukri.org/news/food-security/2018/180215-n-factors-driving-herbicide-resistance/

Major BBSRC grant on black grass: https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/projects/multiple-herbicide-resistance-grass-weeds-genes-agroecosystems
http://bgri.info/
https://gtr.ukri.org/project/27217569-7757-40FE-8757-ADF840B96969

And some content from external partners about the outputs from this project: https://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/news/herbicide-resistant-weed-could-cost-uk-%C2%A31-billion-year
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/archive/2018/06/blackgrass/

 

Notes:

Alopecurus myosuroides is an annual grass, found on cultivated and waste land. It is also known as slender meadow foxtail, black-grass, twitch grass, and black twitch. Black grass can seriously reduce crop yields through competition for nutrients, especially nitrogen. There are serious problems with herbicide resistance in black grass: in a BBSRC-funded study, 79% of the tested populations were resistant to all herbicides tested, and resistance to glyphosate may also be evolving. Losses to national wheat production are estimated at £0.5 billion a year.