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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Blog: AHRI insight

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Hoe, hoe, hoe and away weeds go!

How many hours did you spend out in the paddock with a chipping hoe when you were a kid? Do you still carry one in every ute? Chances are you know how effective they are; but wouldn’t mind if you never had to use one again! Australia has an unfortunate habit of claiming world-firsts in new species for the herbicide resistance lists. Fortunately, we have also been leaders in the development of new tools to help combat the problem. Enter: the revolutionary new chipping hoe! The latest of these developments is the world’s first site-specific mechanical weeder.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Don’t delay sowing to beat ryegrass

Work up, work back, seed. That was the system. Then along came no-till. Spray a knockdown, seed in one pass. Game changer. Then came a more variable climate and a suite of pre-emergent herbicides that made early and dry seeding possible. And now we have seed early at all costs, dry if necessary, and get the crop up and away on the first rain. But what does this do for weeds? Should we delay sowing and wait for a knockdown, or have we got it right?

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A team of DPIRD researchers, led by Dr Catherine Borger has quantified the impact of five weed species of emerging importance in the WA grains belt.

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

New-comers causing trouble

How long have you lived where you live? If you’re a long-time local you will have seen new people come and go – some are gone before you get to know them and others stay and find their niche in the community. Weed communities also change over time and it can take some effort to get to know and understand the new-comers. Will they thrive? Do they fit in? Will they disrupt the way things are done? Or will they go away again, almost unnoticed?

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Diflufenican resistance in wild radish is by P450s

In 1999 I was refuelling my car at a petrol station in Geraldton when I bumped into Dave, a technician with the local Department of Ag. Dave told me he had just returned from a trial where wild radish had survived 600 mL/ha of diflufenican (e.g. Brodal®). This was three times the maximum label rate and six times the common use rate at the time. I could see the entire lupin industry unravelling in front of my eyes. Lupins were a huge success story on our sandplain soils in the area, wild radish was their main Achilles heel…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

The reality of spontaneous mutation

Not surprisingly, de novo mutations are quite rare in the real world – but even rare things can happen if the population is large enough. When it comes to the evolution of herbicide resistance, there are two biological pathways. The first is simply natural selection where a small number of the population can withstand a particular stress (e.g. herbicide), they set seed and eventually their progeny are the majority, and they generally thrive. Resistant alleles may prolificate at the site of selection (i.e. due to frequent and regular use of a particular herbicide at that site) or they might be…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Luximax gets its own NEW box

We all put things in boxes inside our head to help us organise our brain. A few of the important boxes I have inside my head – fishing spots, great moments in sport, top five meals of all time, jokes, song lyrics, useless trivia, movie quotes, WA town license plates, and of course the nothing box (the place every man retreats to when he has five minutes of peace and quiet!). Ok, it’s not an over-achieving brain but it gets me by. However, sometimes something new will come along and it won’t fit into your existing boxes. It might need…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

I can’t live without the Internet!! And I can’t farm without glyphosate.

There are certain things that come along and change the world – electricity, the Internet, mobile phones, and GPS to name just a recent few – and it’s very hard to imagine going back to living without them, even though people did for millennia. For farmers, conservation cropping changed the world – saving soil, water and bank balances along the way – and it is unthinkable to go back to full cultivation for weed control. Click through to learn more.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Group H (HPPD) resistant wild radish

The first resistance to HPPD herbicides in wild radish has now been discovered by AHRI researchers led by PhD candidate Huan Lu. Wild radish is just the third weed in the world to evolve resistance to this group of herbicides. The wild radish in this research was resistant to several other groups of herbicides which may have led to metabolic resistance to HPPD.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

2,4-D resistance does not affect the fitness of radish

Merv Hughes was not a fit-looking cricketer. Merv was a notorious consumer of food and alcohol, and it showed! Despite this, he was a successful professional sportsman. Mitchell Johnson, on the other hand, was the epitome of a fit, healthy fast bowler. But who had the better bowling average? You guessed it, big swervin’ Mervin!! 28.38 compared to Johnson’s 28.4. Ok, we’re splitting hairs here, but you get the picture, how fit you look is only part of the story. If you grew 2,4-D resistant radish in pots on its own, and compared that to the good old susceptible radish…

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