Grains Research and Development

Date: 25.06.2014

Seed control the key to weed control

Author: Michael Thomson

Understanding a weed seed’s potential for persistence – the timeframe weed seeds survive within the soil – is crucial to determining whether spraying or burial methods will be the most effective form of control.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) principal research scientist Dr Michael Widderick says driving down the weed seed bank is growers’ best defence against herbicide resistance issues and requires growers to deal with both the weed seeds already existing in the soil and stopping additional weed seeds from entering the soil.

“Weed seeds persist longer once they’re buried, especially for small-seeded species buried below one or two centimetres,” he said.

“For these species it is better to leave the seed on the soil surface as you know exactly where it is and the environment it is in.

“The key then is once you have a favourable environment for emergence, you really need to get on to them quickly when they’re small and you know your herbicide treatment is going to be effective.”

More information is available at www.grdc.com.au and at www.weedsmart.org.au.

Audio download: Click on the audio icon below to hear Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) principal research scientist Dr Michael Widderick.

ENDS

Contact Details 

For Interviews

Elise McKinna, Media & Communication Officer, DAFF

07 3087 8576

elise.mckinna@daff.qld.gov.au

Contact

Michael Thomson, Senior Consultant, Cox Inall Communications

07 4927 0805, 0408 819 666

michaelt@coxinall.com.au

GRDC Project Code CSU00006, DAW00158, NGA0002, ORM00001, UA00105, UA00124, UA00134, UQ00055, UQ00062

Region North