Richard Hinchliffe  -  Herbicide Resistant Weeds: investigating a sustainable future for arable farming.

Yorkshire Agricultural Society

I live on the family farm with my wife Rebecca and our two children William 3 and Thomas (11 months).

I am a partner in the family’s 1400 acre arable farm growing wheat, oilseed rape and beans. Our soils range from medium silty loams to heavy clays and we are dependent on a pumped drainage system as the farm is on average only six feet above sea level, and all of our land is actually below high tide! I have worked full time on the farm for the last 14 years since leaving De-Montfort University, Riseholme, Lincoln. I do all of our agronomy as I am BASIS and FACTS qualified.

One of our farms is host to the BASF fungicide & biodiversity trials and welcome around 600 visitors a year. In addition, key influencer days are held for groups including government agencies, supermarkets, non-governmental organizations and international visitors 

I would like to thank the Yorkshire Agricultural Society for sponsoring my Nuffield Scholarship. I would also like to thank my family for supporting me through my application and through the next two years.

  • Project Details

I have had an interest in herbicide resistant weeds since I came home from college after we had bought a farm with high populations of resistant black-grass. Over time I have noticed a gradual decline in the effectiveness of herbicides and in particular post-emergence herbicides in wheat crops. Although the vast majority of our acreage is hand rouged for grass weeds we do have pockets of black-grass that are no longer give acceptable control using chemical control alone that has been common place for the last 20-30 years.

I would like to investigate how other farmers are dealing with herbicide resistant weeds around the world, and how this has effected cropping and management decisions. One area that is of particular interest is glyphosate resistance and how it has developed. Although we do not have any incidence of glyphosate resistance in the United Kingdom, it is the herbicide that is most relied upon between harvest and establishing the next crop, and also considered a herbicide that black-grass is at risk of developing resistance to.

I am planning to travel to USA, Canada, Northern Europe, South America and Australia.