Major broadleaved weeds in oilseed rape: Cranesbill
All sorts of cranesbill, whether cut-leaved, dove’s-foot, small-flowered or round-leafed, make life difficult for rape growers in many areas.
While they used to be found primarily in rape farming areas in Eastern France, Berry and Poitou-Charentes, they are now on the rise in Normandy, the Beauce, the Hauts-de-France and even in the Southwest.
According to a 2016 ADquation farmers’ survey, cranesbill still heads the weed list coming in ahead of cleavers, mayweed, charlock and wild radish. They are now found in 42% of farmland under rapeseed in France compared to less than 30% in 2005. Plots with infestations of 100, 200 or even 300 cranesbill/m2 are becoming increasingly common. Cranesbill multiply especially in areas with short rapeseed rotations and no tillage and the longer the rape crop takes to become established the more harmful the weeds as cranesbill emerge earlier and earlier.