Minister Charlie McConalogue has stated that he has asked staff at the Department of Agriculture to “examine the legislative process and what it will take to update the Noxious Weeds Act of 1936 to include blackgrass”.

The Minister was addressing the Irish Grain Growers (IGG) group’s AGM in Athy, Co Kildare, virtually from Co Donegal.

He described the weed as a scourge and stated: “Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more of an issue for farmers and how quickly it can get out of control. Its prevalence has been spreading and is putting undue stress on tillage farmers across the country.

“I recognise that the legislation underpinning the Noxious Weeds Act is nearly 90 years old and it does require updating.


“Our initial assessment suggests that it will take primary legislation to include blackgrass on the list, but that should not deter us from stepping this forward and we will take the steps to do this.

“The legislative process can be slow, but we will not be deterred.”

He commented that while putting legislation in place is not going to immediately stop the spread of the weed, it will focus the minds of everyone to take it more seriously.

“I do believe that it will help us get blackgrass under control,” he added.

The suggestion to include blackgrass as a noxious weed came from the Irish Farmers Journal last June. You can see the article here.