Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.11.2002

New TOPACTIVE workshop 'Understanding Resistance by Monitoring Weed Seeds'

HERBICIDE-RESISTANT and 'hard to kill' weeds pose a major threat to the productivity and sustainability of intensive cropping systems, and, have become the focus of a new TOPACTIVE workshop program.

In 1994, two Lower North farmer groups in SA, namely the Alma and Tarlee Land Management Groups, commenced a project to evaluate the effectiveness of the weed management strategies they were practising.

The groups developed and refined a systematic process of sampling and monitoring of weed seed bank levels in their paddocks. Weed seeds per square metre measured in autumn are used as a key indicator of the success of their weed management practices in the previous season.

Apart from enabling group members to assess the effectiveness of their weed management programs, the results also provide stimulus for group discussion on weed management.

The Weed Seed Bank Monitoring TOPACTIVE program has been developed, based on the experiences of the two groups, to allow other grower groups to learn more about weed banks and managing herbicide resistance in their own farming systems.

This program of four TOPACTIVE workshops is targeted at graingrowers aiming to better manage weeds in their farming system, especially where herbicide-resistant species are becoming a problem.

The workshops take participants through the process of monitoring and assessing weed seed banks in individual paddocks, and developing management plans to reduce the numbers of weeds impacting on crop performance and grain quality. The seed bank monitoring process provides a powerful tool for making informed decisions on weed management, with potential to reduce the cost of herbicide-resistant weeds in farming systems.

For maximum benefit, participants are encouraged to be involved in the program for at least three years, so that the effects of management decisions can be observed in the medium term. This way, weed seed bank benchmarks can be developed for individual farming systems, which will assist in the longer-term management of weed populations.

The workshops in the Weed Seed Bank Monitoring program are as follows:

  • Introduction to Weed Seed Bank Monitoring (WD300TA)
  • Assessing Weed Seed Bank Monitoring (WD400TA)
  • Early Weed Control Assessment - Weed Seed Bank Monitoring (WD500TA)
  • Post-Emergent Weed Control Assessment - Weed Seed Bank Monitoring (WD600TA)

Program 6 Cbntact: Mr Mark Stanley 08 8688 3402