Barenbrug UK has a healthy portfolio of top-ranking Red Fescues and Perennial Ryegrasses.
The Red Fescues Barcrown, Barpearl, Viktorka, Reggae Musica and Barlineus are all produced in the UK by seed growers well experienced in their production. Barenbrug currently have 63% of the Red Fescue seed production area in the UK.
Quality is a major issue in the production of these varieties but effective, and legal, herbicides are not readily available. The area under production is simply not big enough to interest the Pesticide manufacturers. Control of grass weeds is therefore dependent on the judicious use of glyphosate (very risky in times of frost) or grass weed specific herbicides like Falcon and Laser.
Certain grass weeds such as Rat’s Tail Fescue are tolerant of glyphosate at the low rates that must be used in these crops. Other grass weeds such as Blackgrass, Brome grasses and Annual Meadow-grass may be well controlled at these low rates but often not at a high enough level to avoid contamination of the cleaned seed. These weed seeds are almost impossible to clean out. It is essential that seed producers use the cleanest fields on their farms for seed production. (If anyone knows of fields that are completely free of all these grass weeds please let me know!).
However, many of these grasses are annuals and those such as Blackgrass and Rat’s Tail will naturally die out in the Autumn so need not be a problem. They also do not take kindly to regular mowing.
The Barenbrug portfolio of amenity perennial ryegrasses has some very highly placed varieties in the STRI lists. Barenbrug UK has 50% of the amenity Perennial Ryegrass seed production area in the UK.
Again, the emphasis is very much on quality and, as with the Red Fescues, herbicides for grass weed control are in very short supply. In fact, there is only one mainstay for grass weed control and that is Ethofumesate. There are severe usage restrictions on this chemical which means that grass weed control can be very unpredictable.
Again, seed producers are trying to use their cleanest fields to curtail potential problems but because there are legal requirements for previous crops this not always possible.
Barenbrug UK only produces certified seed that is produced subject to legal enforcement through the various Seeds Legislation Acts. This ensures that seed we sell has complied with all certification requirements in terms of previous cropping, NIAB control plots, crop inspections and purity and germination.