Grains Research and Development

Date: 07.09.2012

Plan ahead for summer spraying

Author: Bill Gordon

While many of us will be preparing for harvest of winter crops, we should also be planning ahead to control summer weeds. I was reminded of the importance of summer weed management when I recently attended the GRDC research updates for growers at Sea Lake and Dimboola in Victoria, which had an interesting lineup of speakers.

One of the presentations given by James Hunt, from the CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, outlined work they had completed in conjunction with BCG. The information presented highlighted the return on dollars invested in controlling summer weeds as part of a farming system’s approach to maximising water use efficiency.

One of the take-home messages I received from the presentation was that the maximum return on investment came from early weed control. Mr Hunt also pointed out that any weed control, even if it was delayed, was better than no control at all.

This reminded me of the importance of having the machine ready to go when the first summer weed spray is required, which can often occur immediately after harvest for many growers.

So rather than waiting until harvest is completed to give the sprayer a once over, perhaps we should be preparing for summer fallow spraying before harvest starts.

The GRDC has a range of useful fact sheets related to spraying that can serve to remind us of things to check, such as the Pre-Season Sprayer Checks Fact Sheet, which covers some of the key checks that should be conducted and useful controller settings to make sure the machine is running efficiently.

There are other GRDC fact sheets that provide information on weather monitoring, mixing, water quality, inversions, and a back pocket guide for nozzle selection, which are all important for summer sprays.

A new fact sheet in this issue, Summer fallow spraying focuses on summer fallow spraying trial results and outlines how some of the newer twin-style nozzles perform in comparison to our standard air inductions for summer weed management.

While I hope that all growers will be planning for a successful harvest of winter crops, I would also like to encourage you to plan for successful summer spraying to help set up next year’s crop. 

More information:

Bill Gordon Consulting,
bill.gordon@bigpond.com, 0429 976 565

GRDC Project Code BGC00002

Region National