Grains Research and Development

Date: 01.04.2003

RESEARCH UPDATE Wide row woes

Increased adoption of wide-row dryland cropping of grains and pulses may be accelerating the potential for herbicide resistance, according to a Queensland researcher. Vikki Osten from the Queensland Department of Primary Industries said the push for wide-row cropping is placing an increasing reliance on herbicides for weed control which, in turn, is increasing the threat of herbicide resistance. While high plant populations on narrow row spacings can suppress weeds, wide-row cropping relies on plant roots accessing a greater volume of inter-row, stored subsoil moisture during the growing season. Failing to control weeds in a wide-row cropping system defeats the purpose of having it, so herbicides have become the only feasible option for weed control in the inter-row, particularly in zero-till situations. "Growers will need to be much smarter with their weed control programs, alternating chemical spray formulations and rotating seasonal crops to prolong the effective life of herbicides," Ms Osten said.

Contact: Ms Vikki Osten 07 4983 7406

Region North, South, West