LUCERNE: Now that we've got it well established...

A survey of farmers who grow lucerne in the rotation garnered a few methods on how then to eradicate it.

The survey, supported by growers through the GRDC, was done because a farming system involving a lucerne phase of several years, followed by three to five years of cropping, is becoming more common — partly to counteract dryland salinity.

  • Herbicides were used by most farmers with varying results.
  • On many farms tank mixes of chemicals were applied to actively growing lucerne in late spring. They were variable in effect but generally effective in removing 80 per cent or more of lucerne. Post-emergent herbicides were often used the following season to retard or kill surviving plants in crops.
  • Cultivation was used on most farms in their lucerne-removal program — either as the primary method or a back-up to the partial removal and weakening by chemicals. While there was a wide range of tine and disc equipment used, the best results were achieved by wide sweep points with an overlap between rows ensuring that tap roots were completely severed.

Program 3.4.2

Contact: Mr Kieran Ransom 03 5430 4444