Ground breaking weeds research awarded

Author: Natalie Lee | Date: 17 Nov 2014

Image of Michael Walsh, AHRI researcher

Pioneering Western Australian research into techniques to control weed seeds in grain paddocks at harvest time has received international recognition.

The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has awarded the 2014 Outstanding Paper in Weed Technology to a paper co-authored by Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) researcher Michael Walsh and director Stephen Powles.

Dr Walsh said the research, funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), proved that a high level of weed seeds is retained at wheat crop harvest time, providing further evidence of the effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) in preventing weeds from replenishing the seed bank.

“The research demonstrated that the four dominant annual weeds of Australian cropping systems – annual ryegrass, wild radish, brome grass and wild oats – retain 77 to 95 per cent of their seeds above a harvest cut height of 15cm at wheat crop maturity,” he said.

Dr Walsh said the research was part of ongoing scientific evaluation by AHRI of the effectiveness of the tools and techniques of HWSC systems, originally developed by grain growers.

“HWSC commenced in WA and is now being adopted by increasing numbers of growers who are using systems such as chaff carts, narrow windrow burning, the Harrington Seed Destructor and Bale Direct,” he said.

“The WSSA award is significant recognition of how AHRI weeds research – funded by growers and the government via the GRDC – is leading to direct, commercial adoption and outcomes.”

AHRI is based at the School of Plant Biology at The University of Western Australia.

More information about HWSC systems is available at, or at


Caption: A paper co-authored by AHRI researcher Michael Walsh, relating to the effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) techniques, has received international recognition. 

Contact Details 

For Interviews

Michael Walsh, AHRI
0448 847 272


Natalie Lee, Cox Inall Communications
08 9864 2034, 0427 189 827

GRDC Project Code UWA00146, UWA00124

Region West