Teagasc has launched a European Innovation Partnership project titled Enable Conservation Tillage, (ECT) which aims to promote the ‘Wider adoption of sustainable conservation tillage systems’ by specifically looking at grass weed control in these systems.
This five year project is a new way of problem solving on farms by co-designing solutions with farmers to help the adoption of conservation agriculture systems on tillage farms.
At the launch this week, the project Operational Group, comprised of farmer groups (Claydon Group, BASE Ireland) along with industry, seed assemblers, researchers, specialist, advisors, and UK collaborators discussed the challenges facing Irish farmers using conservation agriculture systems.
Michael Hennessy, Head of Crops Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc and Project Leader said the project was extremely important for Ireland to help halt, or reverse the spread of highly damaging grass weeds such as blackgrass and other herbicide resistant grass weeds.
“At the core of this project is a network of ten Focus Farms spread across the main tillage area, from Louth to Cork, which will enable local farmers to see first-hand how grass weed control can be achieved in different crop establishment systems,” he added.
“One of the first steps in controlling any weed, regardless of the control practices being utilised, is accurate identification.
“The importance of identifying these weeds and understanding their biology ie how and when these weeds germinate and grow, cannot be overstated.”