Press Release •  05/02/2024

New data shows severity of brome concern for wheat growers

Something went wrong. Please try again later...

Hundreds of farmers, contractors and agronomists have indicated that brome is a growing threat in the battle against grassweeds in UK arable fields.

New data from a Corteva Agriscience survey shows that 80% of respondents have populations on their farms with the vast majority estimating it to be infesting up to 25% of their winter wheat area in 2023.

Cultural control methods such as rotational planning, delayed drilling and ploughing are being deployed on every farm involved in the research, and the brome problem has been shown to exist in all the main wheat-growing regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Alister McRobbie, Cereal Herbicides Category Manager, said: “This work provides more clarity on how widespread brome issues are and the various approaches being taken to reduce populations.

“Blackgrass is usually the grassweed which gets the most attention for understandable reasons, but brome has a similar potential to steal yield so can’t be ignored.”

Almost 250 of the 282 respondents said that up to 25% of their winter wheat area was infested with brome in 2023, with a small number of growers reporting up to 50%.

Three-quarters were able to identify the species they have, with the most common being sterile followed by meadow, soft, rye and great brome.

Most farmers, agronomists and contractors said they didn’t know the resistance status of their brome, but the majority of the 30 who did said it had shown reduced sensitivity to ALS inhibitor herbicides such as Atlantis®. 

The most popular herbicide used by growers to control brome is Broadway® Star, evidenced by 68% of respondents indicating it was their product of choice. A broad spectrum of weed control, effectiveness, and ease of use were the main reasons respondents said they preferred to use it.

“Broadway Star gives excellent control of all brome species, ryegrass and wild oats in winter wheat,” Alister said.

“It is also effective against a wide range of broad-leaved weeds. Used in conjunction with a residual herbicide programme, it provides robust control going into the key period of the growing season.”

A programmed approached was favoured, most commonly a pre-emergence application of products including flufenacet, pendimethalin, tri-allate or DFF, followed by a contact spray. 

But it is clear that chemistry is always used in combination with cultural controls. Delayed drilling, shallow cultivation, grazing and crop rotation are the tools being deployed.

Alister added that a busy spring period lies ahead for wheat growers and that they should be prepared for weed control applications to take place when conditions allow.

“For best results, always include a recommended adjuvant and always target weeds when they are small and actively growing, and don’t spray when it is cold as efficacy will be reduced,” he said.

“A good rule of thumb is that if the grass is growing and needs a cut, it’s probably suitable for applications of Broadway Star.”

To read the best practice advice, go to the Broadway Star product page

Corteva would like to thank all brome questionnaire respondents. Insights and feedback will continue to drive our work in developing solutions that support winter wheat growers as well as enabling us to give technical advice and support when it is needed most.


Sterile brome
Sterile brome

Useful information

Media Contact: Ben Pike
Tel: 01327 438617 / 07832168560

Corteva technical hotline:
Tel: 0800 689 8899

Broadway Star product page
Brome weed biology


Want to receive our news by email?

Sign-up to receive our e-newsletters deirect to your inbox here