Black grass management is a hot topic at the moment and one in which precision agriculture is crucial.
URSULA Agriculture was one of the companies in the REAP Start-up Showcase it uses remote sensing for, among other things, to generate black-grass maps for growers.
These accurate maps pinpoint infestations mid-season enabling farmers to mitigate the problem through selective harvesting, or killing/burning off the worst affected areas to reduce the spread of seed.
URSULA’s detailed maps also enable a more proactive approach for the following season by re-orienting tramlines, re-planning drilling patterns and adjusting seed rates. The maps also help to target pre-emptive herbicide application with the worst areas being treated separately.
URSULA is continuing its research activity and is expected to widen its commercial Scout mapping tool to the mapping of black-grass in the autumn and winter periods when 80% of black-grass emergence occurs. Detecting black-grass at this time will reveal the effectiveness of pre-emergence control measures and inform post-emergence herbicide application in the early spring. By identifying residual pockets of black-grass and patch spraying rather than spraying the entire field considerable savings can be made.