Black-grass infestation is one of the greatest challenges facing arable farmers in the UK and Europe. Recent studies estimated UK annual costs at ca £400M with 800,000 tonnes of wheat lost. To add to the challenge, black-grass has developed resistance to many herbicides. Successful control of black-grass requires detection of individual plants early in the growing season, something which is not possible with current detection systems.
This Ceres project is developing and field testing an accurate, high-resolution system to detect individual black-grass plants early in the season. The system will allow farmers to take immediate action in the field, in real time, rather than relying on less effective ‘after the fact’ weed control. This will help increase crop yields, reduce herbicide use and decrease the risk of weeds developing further resistance.