Herbicide trials to control feathertop Rhodes grass in the north

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A photo of a field

Feathertop Rhodes grass.

Feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) is a major weed issue in Central Queensland, and it has become an increasing problem over the past three years across the northern grains region, particularly from the Darling Downs, Queensland, through to Moree, New South Wales. 

Although FTR can be controlled by conventional cultivation methods, it is becoming more problematic in no-till systems and is frequently tolerant to the key fallow herbicide, glyphosate.

The Northern Grower Alliance (NGA), in collaboration with weed scientists from the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the Central Queensland Growers Solutions group, are evaluating a range of alternative management approaches. The NGA has established several trial sites to investigate the efficacy of residual herbicides that are already registered for other common weeds. These options are being evaluated within winter and summer cropping programs. 

A second set of trials is looking at the effects of double-knock timing, comparing glyphosate and grass-selective products for knockdown control when followed by paraquat. 

These trials aim to confirm appropriate timing intervals for paraquat double-knock application. 

NGA’s research manager Lawrie Price says: “The problem needs to be attacked from multiple angles. We expect the use of residual herbicides will be an important component in achieving consistent FTR management alongside non-herbicide tactics, such as strategic tillage.”

“We have already seen that some products can give residual control of FTR for several months, but we need to get greater consistency in their performance; we also know that herbicides already registered in key winter crops have activity against FTR, but do they last long enough to knock out FTR in a spring germination?” 

NGA’s team of trial agronomists are searching for several key trial sites. If you have sites with expected high levels of FTR or windmill grass, NGA would be keen to hear from you.

More information:

Lawrie Price
Northern Grower Alliance
07 4639 5344
0448 106 178
lawrie.price@nga.org.au

www.grdc.com.au/GCTV

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GRDC Project Code GOA00001

Region North, South, West