Growers share harvest weed seed control knowledge

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 21 Oct 2013

A harvester towing a chaff cart.

Chaff carts and stubble windrow burning for harvest weed seed control (HWSC) can be just as effective in the Albany port zone as they are in Western Australia’s northern cropping regions.

This is a finding outlined in a new booklet containing case studies of Albany port zone grain growers using low cost, innovative methods of weed seed collection or destruction.

Ready in time for the 2013 harvest, it is an initiative of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Albany port zone Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) and was produced by the Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) with support from the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative and growers.

Project leader Alex Douglas, of DAFWA, said excellent HWSC studies had previously been conducted in WA’s northern and central grainbelt but less had been known about effective methods used by growers in southern areas, where seasonal conditions are unique.

“HWSC provides growers with the opportunity to more effectively manage weed populations and allows them to move away from the almost complete reliance on herbicides for weed control,” she said.

“The consequence of this is that growers then have more flexibility in the overall management of their cropping program.”

Ms Douglas said the seven farming families featured in the case studies had all used harvest management techniques for a number of seasons, and in some cases had tried more than one option.

“All of the growers have made modifications to the system they are using to tailor it to their specific needs,” she said.

These modifications include:

  • Adapting conveyors to chaff carts to maximise chaff capture;
  • Altering the position of the chaff fraction on the stubble windrow to optimise weed seed burning or baling;
  • Applying HWSC techniques to specific crop types.

As well as case studies, the booklet contains information about different HWSC tools; the role of HWSC techniques in driving weed numbers down; the cost of HWSC tools; and resources for further information.

The Effectiveness of on-farm methods of weed seed collection at harvest time can be downloaded from www.grdc.com.au/CaseStudy-WeedSeedHarvest-Albany and a limited number of hard copies are available from RCSN coordinator Julianne Hill at regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com or 08 9726 1307.

More information about HWSC is available at www.weedsmart.org.au or at www.ahri.uwa.edu.au/Research/Management.

ENDS

Caption: A harvester towing a chaff cart. Photo by Alex Douglas, DAFWA.

Audio download: Listen to an audio grab of Alex Douglas, DAFWA, talking about harvest weed seed control case studies outlined in a new booklet

Contact details

For interviews

Alex Douglas, DAFWA
08 9821 3333
alex.douglas@agric.wa.gov.au

Julianne Hill, RCSN coordinator
08 9726 1307
regionalcroppingsolutions@gmail.com

Contact

Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827
nataliel@coxinall.com.au

GRDC Project Code RCSNAlbzoneproject3of4

Region National