Getting the jump on FTR

Author: Sarah Jeffrey | Date: 14 Jun 2016

Photo: Northern Grower Alliance chief executive officer Richard Daniel.

New South Wales grain growers can get the jump on spring emergences of the problem weed feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) with the strategic use of residual herbicides this winter.

While FTR is predominantly a summer weed, Northern Grower Alliance (NGA) chief executive officer Richard Daniel said the first cohort of emergence can occur during the winter crop phase.

Speaking to growers and consultants at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Updates earlier this year, Mr Daniel said NGA had undertaken screening of winter crop residual herbicides for activity against spring emergences of FTR (in addition to other summer grass weeds) for the past three seasons.

“The screening has found encouraging activity from a range of herbicides used in either cereal or chickpea production,” Mr Daniel said.

“Residual herbicide strategies for the control of a range of weeds, such as Balance®, Treflan®, Stomp®, Sakura and Terbyne®, applied in a number of winter crops have been noted to reduce the emergence of FTR.

“It’s important to note that these chemistries were applied as part of a trial only and growers will need to check on registration and label recommendations before deciding on a control strategy.”

Mr Daniel said taking preventative action against FTR emergences in winter needed to be part of a wider year-round integrated management strategy to achieve long term control.

“Our management issues with FTR have in part stemmed from an over reliance on glyphosate in the summer fallow,” Mr Daniel said.

“To successfully manage FTR in the future, the industry must continue to adopt a range of integrated management practices such as crop rotation, strategic and salvage tillage, intensive patch management for new incursions, salvage burning and a wider range of herbicide options (eg. residual herbicides) as well as double-knock strategies.

“Profitability is of course still paramount. The suggestion with these problem weeds is to focus on individual paddocks and adjust rotations to crops that most suit growers’ environmental conditions but also enable the use of effective residual herbicides in the previous fallow or even in crop.

“Particularly for FTR, the seed bank is only short lived and two years of effective management can ensure that paddocks return to full flexibility of rotational choice.”

To read Mr Daniel’s Updates paper on FTR management, visit the GRDC website and navigate to the research and development section or follow this link.

For more information on NGA’s residual chemistry trials for FTR control, visit the GRDC’s You Tube channel and search for Ground Cover TV Episode 19, or follow this link.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Richard Daniel, CEO, Northern Grower Alliance
07 4639 5344 / 0428 657 782


Ellen McNamara, Cox Inall Communications
0429 897 129

GRDC Project Code NGA00004

Region North