Weed strategies for a tough season on Wagga GRDC update agenda

Author: Toni Somes | Date: 06 Feb 2017

Michael Walsh

Director of Weeds Research from Sydney University Michael Walsh says there are numerous options for growers battling significant weed pressure this season and he will talk through the different approaches at the GRDC updates in Wagga on February 14 and 15.

Southern New South Wales growers will remember 2016 as a ‘really wet year’ that for many resulted in massive weed seed blowouts.

Advice for growers on how to deal with the increased weed seed bank will be one the headline acts at the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) Grains Research Update in Wagga Wagga on February 14 and 15.

Presented by Michael Walsh the Director of Weeds Research from the University of Sydney and Greg Condon from Grassroots Agronomy the focus will be on providing growers with effective strategies to combat increased weed pressure.

“Constant rainfall through winter reduced the effectiveness of pre and post-emergent herbicides when growers could actually get onto paddocks and the effect of waterlogging reduced crop competition, which was a combination that allowed weeds to proliferate even in previously clean paddocks,” Dr Walsh said.

“But our message to growers is there are numerous options to tackle their weed issues now, they just need to get aggressive and adopt some of the more alternative, but proven weed control options.

“Start with the double knock, then use crop competition, top it all off with harvest weed seed control tactics and then be prepared to do it all again next season.”

Strategies to manage weed seed blowouts in 2017, along with the latest regional results from Harrington seed destructor trials, are just some of the many grower-focused topics on the agenda at the Wagga Wagga update. 

Other presentations include an investigation into the opportunities and challenges for continuous cropping systems with CSIRO John Kirkegaard, while Ken Quail from AEGIC will talk about whether the quality of Australian wheat is still meeting the needs of south east Asian customers.

Impacts of a wet season on crop nutrition, the verdict on strategic tillage, effective and practical use of precision technology, along with the latest research into pests and diseases will also be on offer.

Other updates topics on the agenda, which are designed to help growers improve productivity and profitability include:

  • The latest on managing the Russian wheat aphid
  • The role of a hay enterprise in the rotation: agronomics and economics
  • Better pastures, better crops: Management of pastures in a mixed farming system
  • Local research into improving wheat yields in hostile soils
  • What are the key drivers for high end irrigation yields?
  • Along with an integrated approach to advanced canola management.

GRDC Grower Services Manager – North Sharon O’Keeffe said the annual updates across New South Wales focused on bringing industry the latest research and development (R&D) from short and medium term projects that address growers’ priority issues from farming systems, agronomy, soils and weeds to pests and diseases.

“The updates play a vital role keeping growers and advisers informed of the latest tools, advice, information and innovation to improve on-farm productivity and profitability,” Ms O’Keeffe said.

“The grains industry is constantly changing in terms of climate variability, technology and market conditions, so it is critical growers have up-to-date knowledge to make informed decisions and adopt practice changes that bring cost efficiencies, promote sustainability and grow productivity.”

NSW Updates will be held at Wagga Wagga on February 14-15, Corowa on February 16, Gulargambone on February 27, Dubbo on February 28 and March 1 and Coolamon on March 16. A full program and event details are available on the GRDC website.

For more information or to register for the Wagga Wagga and Corowa Updates, contact ORM on 03 5441 6176, email admin@orm.com.au or visit the website by following this link.

For more information or to register for the Gulargambone and Dubbo events, contact John Cameron or Erica McKay, ICAN, on 02 9482 4930, e-mail northernupdates@icanrural.com.au or visit the website by following this link.

Contact Details

For Interviews

Sharon O’Keeffe
0400 596 978


Toni Somes, Cox Inall Communications
0427 878 387

Region North