As part of their pre-seeding preparations, Western Australian grain growers are planning how they will control weeds and manage herbicide resistance in the coming year.
On my family’s farm at Quairading, weed management has become an increasingly important focus of our enterprise, particularly since we sold our last sheep in 2007.
We’ve needed to step up to challenges posed by herbicide resistance and adopt integrated weed management principles such as weed seed management at harvest time.
WA grain producers know that the management of herbicide resistant weeds requires a combination of herbicides, sound crop agronomy and more importantly, non-herbicidal weed management.
Resistant ryegrass is everywhere in WA and thus the State’s growers, by necessity, have become world leaders in managing resistant weeds.
The recent launch of the WeedSmart industry initiative at the Global Herbicide Resistance Challenge in Fremantle will help growers secure the weed control gains that they have already made and maintain on-farm productivity.
WeedSmart provides a practical and innovative tool kit of resources for advisers and growers to keep weeds – and herbicide resistance – at bay.
The campaign provides the latest tools and resources to combat resistance, which costs Australian agriculture at least $200 million annually through lower yields and farm profits.
WeedSmart encourages growers to knock out 100 per cent of weeds at every opportunity, implementing chemical and non-chemical weed control measures throughout a season, reducing weed seed banks and preventing weeds from setting seed and spreading resistance.
I encourage growers to check out the great resources available at the WeedSmart campaign hub at www.weedsmart.org.au, including specific resources for both advisers and growers in the western, southern and northern cropping regions.
WeedSmart also offers a smart phone app, available via the Apple App Store, that assists in determining a farm’s level of herbicide resistance risk and the effectiveness of weed seed bank management practices.
The WeedSmart initiative involves the commitment of research and development organisations including the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), advisors and agronomists, chemical companies, agribusiness and grower representative bodies.
PHOTO CAPTION: Shauna Stone.
Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034; 0427 189 827