Grains Research and Development

Date: 08.03.2017

Weed seeds needed for vital research

Author: Toni Somes


Researchers are looking for weed seed samples from sweet summer grass and Australian bind weed for new research into emerging weed threats in Queensland and New South Wales.

Agronomists and grain growers in Queensland and New South Wales are being encouraged to collect Australian bind weed (Convolvulus erubescens) and sweet summer grass (Brachiaria eruciformis) seeds as part of vital work investigating emerging weed threats.

Research is being conducted by the University of Queensland (UQ) with support from the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and will look at emergence patterns and the competitiveness of these weeds.

Researcher Sudheesh Manalil from the Queensland Alliance For Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) said a minimum of 2000 seeds were required for sampling from each location in grain paddocks or crop fallows. The researchers are also hoping for samples from approximately 15 locations across Queensland and New South Wales.

Australian bind weed is a prostrate plant and seed leaves are nearly square with a rounded base and a deeply notched tip. The first three or four true leaves are oblong with rounded or bluntly pointed tips. Mature plants are hairy, have a thick taproot and light green creeping or twining stems. Leaf shape is variable, often arrowhead-shaped with divided basal lobes. Flowers are trumpet-shaped and white or pink.

Sweet summer grass is a major weed of crop and fallow in Central Queensland. It is delicate and fine compared to other prevalent subtropical summer grasses. Sweet summer grass tends to be tufted and root where the lower joints touch the ground, giving a sprawling stoloniferous (stem-forming) appearance. Distinguished by its colour, the plant has dark green blades and reddish purple tinges particularly around the leaf margin and sheath. Leaves grow 10cm long by 6cm wide, and the plant reaches 0.6m high. 

Sweet summer grass is a short lived summer weed dispersed by seed. Growers should be aware of this weed as it can be competitive forming dense mats or carpets across areas of cultivation. The impact on crop yield worsens when it emerges before or with the crop.

The weed becomes problematic when the remnant plant material impedes the emergence of winter crops, it can also interfere with the machinery by wrapping around the tynes, causing blockages and dragging across the paddock.

Further detail about these weeds, including identification and management tactics download Section 6: Weeds, of the Integrated Weed Management Manual


For more information about collecting Australian bind weed or sweet summer grass seeds contact Dr Sudheesh Manalil on 0409 319 852 or via email

Contact Details 

Contact 

Toni Somes
Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387
toni.somes@coxinall.com.au

GRDC Project Code UA000156

Region North