The Revesby Estate has been experimenting for years with a crop rotation strategy to eliminate blackgrass weeds. Dreaded for lessening winter harvest yields, its efforts in improving soil structure have resulted in success.
Boston, Lincolnshire (25 August 2017) – Revesby Estates, a Lincolnshire estate, has come up with an innovative way to beat blackgrass weeds. The Estate has made use of a kind of cover cropping to ensure that soil becomes inhospitable to this dreaded blight. Also, the Estate has proven that this crop rotation has proven useful for the harvest of winter wheat and oilseed rape, also known as canola.
Peter Cartwright, Revesby Estate farm manager, explains that taking care to maintain soil structure has “paid dividends”. Noting that warm, dry soil prevents blackgrass weed from affecting winter crop yields, they set about to devise a strategy to beat blackgrass from Revesby Estate.
They do this by utilising cover crops such as oats and phacelia. The fibrous root structure of oats has made it useful in filtering out phosphates in the soil, rendering it fruitful for the planting of string beans. Phacelia’s rooting has also proved to maintain, and even improve, soil structure.
These benefits have become useful ahead of the winter wheat harvest. In addition, blackgrass weeds have become less of a pest to these farms as they do not thrive in this kind of soil.
Apart from these cover crops, Revesby Estate also makes use of 10 meter Horsch Sprinter drill to prepare soil ahead of the winter season. This machine utilises a metering system to allow for precise seed placement. This ensures an even distribution of crops, especially when planting two varieties of crops.
This brings more yield than in previous winter seasons. From an average of 8.5t/ha., they have been able to bring their winter wheat yields up to more than 10t-ha. Oilseed rape yields have also grown to 5t/ha.
Mr. Cartwright refrains from referring to the blackgrass situation as “under control”, but looks forward to exploring new techniques. Revesby Estate looks forward to experimenting with different crops over the winter season, in order to beat blackgrass weeds and improving soil structure for the next harvest.
About Revesby Real Estate
The Revesby Estate is a proudly Lincolnshire-based farm that is renowned for its experimentation against blackgrass weeds and other threats to crop yields. Owned by the Wiggins-Davies family, its crop rotation trials with oat and phacelia have generated success. These Estate offerings, include, and go beyond the more traditional Agriculture, Forestry and Lettings, to include niches “from events to fishing and so much in-between”.