Seed control the key to weed control
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.”
Audio download: Click on the audio icon below to hear Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) principal research scientist Dr Michael Widderick.
Elise McKinna, Media & Communication Officer, DAFF
07 3087 8576
Michael Thomson, Senior Consultant, Cox Inall Communications
07 4927 0805, 0408 819 666
GRDC Project Code CSU00006, DAW00158, NGA0002, ORM00001, UA00105, UA00124, UA00134, UQ00055, UQ00062