Establishing Arable Grass Margins
This fact sheet gives an overview of establishing Arable Grass Margins and controlling Sterile Brome.
Arable grass margins are areas from 1.5 - 3 meters between the main crop and the field boundary deliberately managed to (a) provide habitat for flora and farmland wildlife species, (b) add biodiversity value and ecosystem services, (c) protect water quality, and (d) most importantly, compete with problematic grass weeds like sterile brome, which are increasingly problematic along field boundaries and invading into fields.
Control of sterile brome in margins/hedges by total weed control or selective graminicides have controlled competitive species and allowed bromes to flourish rather than decreasing their incidence. Continuous mowing encourages seeding at lower levels. Teagasc Oak Park have demonstrated that a margin specifically sown with competitive perennial grasses when properly managed, provides competition for the sterile brome by preventing their regrowth, and therefore seed return.