Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Blog: AHRI insight

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Mini-series – ‘Pre-emergent: A tale of four herbicides’ | Episode 2: ‘Incomplete dominance’

Many of our Australian readers would remember the great TV mini-series ‘Underbelly’ that exposed the underworld of Melbourne and Sydney. It got the whole country talking about Carl Williams and the Moran brothers, and the corruption in the police force. Similarly, our mini-series on pre-emergent herbicides will seek to reveal the underbelly of the herbicide world. We started this series a couple of years ago and plan to pick it up where we left off. ‘Pre-emergent: A tale of four herbicides’ has the whole of the Australian agricultural industry talking about cross-resistance, P450’s, GST’s, and the sting in the tail…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

New boy band – ‘The Feathertop Rhodes’

Feathertop Rhodes (FTR) Grass is the boy band of the weeds world. They pop up quickly from obscurity (first to germinate after rain), stress easily at the first sign of trouble (dry), and can be all done and dusted in 18 months (short seed life), not to mention that they are downright annoying as well! If you think this is just a Queensland problem, think again. This boy band, I mean weed, has risen to fame in recent years as it has spread from its home in Queensland to playing gigs on road verges all over the country. When faced…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Chaff carts – good for the crop and the sheep

So often in life, there are things that conflict with one another. Take the Australian cricket team for example. Social media is great for the social lives of the players, but it is disastrous for their batting. You simply can’t bat all day in a test match when you have the attention span of a goldfish! Farming is just the same. There are conflicting farming practices. Often what is good for the crop is detrimental to the sheep, and vice versa. Until now. The humble chaff cart is good for both the crop and the sheep. Ed Riggall is a…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Harvester set-up – catch weed seeds and grain

Roger Lowenstein, in his book about Warren Buffett wrote, “Buffett found it extraordinary that academics studied such things. They studied what was measurable, rather than what was meaningful”. When John Broster from CSU and Michael Walsh from Sydney University set out to measure how many weed seeds were entering the chaff fraction in a modern harvester, they were definitely studying what was meaningful, but man was it difficult to measure! In 2014, John and Michael set up trials with five different harvesters in NSW and found, much to their distain, that all of the harvesters were throwing a lot of…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Low dose phenoxy resistance

Once upon a time we used to argue about whether smoking was bad for your health. We don’t argue about that anymore. In the world of weeds, we used to argue whether low herbicide rates cause herbicide resistance. We don’t argue about this anymore. Both low rates and high rates of herbicide can cause herbicide resistance, but it seems that low rates are the fast track to herbicide resistance. Dr Mike Ashworth from AHRI, evolved resistance to 2,4-D in wild radish. Mike started with only a few hundred plants of a known herbicide susceptible wild radish population, and in just…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Mungbeans, you will never guess which row spacing is best!

If you have ever tried to use a Philips head screwdriver on a slotted head screw, or hammer in a nail with the back of a spanner, you know how important it is to have the right tool for the job. Mungbeans are often sown with a planter on 1m row spacing that was designed for cotton, maize or sorghum because this is what the grower has and it is hard to have a different planter for every crop. But is it the right tool for the job? We have previously reported on the benefits of narrow row spacing of…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Narrow row spacing – more crop, fewer weeds

It would be really nice if research told us that fast food, chocolate and lollies were better for us than a balanced diet. We could eat what we want without a care in the world. There are those who believe that junk food is good for you, but the science doesn’t support this belief. It would also be nice if research told us that wide row spacing increased grain yield while improving weed control. Wide row spacing is cheap and convenient. Fewer tines or discs to pull, easier stubble handling, good herbicide safety, less fuel and horsepower required, cheaper machinery,…

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Palmer pigweed

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Warm water

Some things in life are best served warm. It’s just the way it is. The evening meal, toast, custard, hollandaise sauce, herbicide spray water… New research by Devkota and colleagues from Purdue University in the USA tells us that cold water may not be as good as warm water when spraying weeds. They found that when they sprayed giant ragweed and morningglory with a glyphosate + dicamba mix, weed control was improved anywhere from 6% to 26% by using spray water that was 18°C to 39°C compared to 5°C. This response didn’t hold true for all of the weeds in…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Wild oat resistance takes effort

Many young people don’t like the taste of beer, but they know if they work hard, endure the awful bitter taste and hideous hangovers for a few years, they will eventually like the stuff. It takes effort, but if they stick at it long enough they can get there. And, believe it or not, you have to work pretty hard to evolve resistance in wild oats. But if you stick at the same practice long enough (it takes effort), you can get there! We have previously reported AHRI research showing that wild oats evolve resistance slowly because they are both…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Stay native to the (communication) platform

You can’t have your cake and eat it. But what’s the point of cake if you don’t eat it? Ok, we’ve (deliberately) misinterpreted the saying here, but you get the drift. What is the point of doing research if you don’t tell anyone about it? A lot of money is spent on agricultural research, and we need this research to reach the farmer (otherwise, what’s the point?). Everyone’s time poor and, these days, we’re all bombarded with more info than ever. This means that good communication of this info is more important than ever. There’s more to communication than scientific…

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