Lupins and weed control

Tara Simmul - searching for new herbicides to kill weeds in lupins.

Tasmanian graingrowers will learn more about lupins from research being conducted by 1995 University of Tasmania Honours student, Tara Simmul.

Ms Simmul is mid-way through a project which should encourage more farmers to grow lupins, a crop which many avoid now because of weed problems.

Lupins are poor competitors with weeds during early growth stages, said Ms Simmul. While simazine is a useful herbicide in lupins, its long-term residual action meant that if the lupin crop failed, the choice of an alternative crop in that soil was limited.

She's now testing two other weedkillers, metribuzin and pendimethalin, on three different lupin species, at three different rates and on three different soil types. Just to add to the matrix, the herbicides, which have different modes of action, are being both surface-applied and incorporated.

This project, which is part of Kate Charleston's lupin assessment work in Tasmania (Ground Cover winter edition 1995) is sponsored by growers through the GRDC.

"Sponsorship from the GRDC is helpful as it allows me to work with lupins through the holidays, as well as off-setting material and travel costs, allowing me to concentrate on the research objectives," said Ms Simmul.

Subprogram 1.1.01 Contact: Ms Tara Simmul 002 202 620 Agricultural Science Department