Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Blog: AHRI insight

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Herbicides and stubble – some wash off, some don’t

Which herbicides wash off wheat stubble? Ask any farmer how hard it is to wash the yellow trifluralin stain out of their clothes and you had better be ready for a tirade of domestic hardship! “I just throw them straight in the bin these days”, commented one irate farmer. “I would sooner try and wash off a tattoo than remove that horrible yellow stuff from my work shirts.” No wonder the urban myth tells us that trifluralin was originally developed as clothes dye. If Yaseen Khalil’s recent research is anything to go by, trifluralin would make a wonderful dye and…

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Gayle Somerville, pre-em

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Why do pre-em herbicides last so long before resistance bites?

Once in a while, someone comes along and asks a question that you have never given much consideration to. Like, “Why does beer garden beer taste so bad?” or “Why do hotels always give away piles of stuff except for what you actually need, like a toothbrush or a razor?” and “Why do our pre-emergent herbicides last longer than our post-emergent herbicides before resistance bites”? Sure, we had probably considered this question in the past, but many of us would have just assumed that the gene frequency for resistance to our pre-emergent herbicides was low. However, Gayle Somerville, who recently…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Glufosinate resistance – we know what it’s not

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tends to be the difficult ones,” Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense 2001-2006. Man, that’s deep! It’s wonderful for a scientist to have a hypothesis, do the research, and find that they were…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Mini-series – ‘Pre-emergent: A tale of four herbicides’ | Season Finale – Episode 4: ‘Redemption’

They said ‘yeah, it happened in the lab but that will never happen in real life’. The evil Busi said ‘I’m not a bad person, I’m not trying to create a monster, I just found something really bad and felt that I should tell you about it’. The naysayers said, ‘sure, just tell us when it happens in real life, then we’ll believe you’. Guess what, it happened! Dun dun duuuun!!!! Canadian researchers Mangin, Hall and Beckie have found wild oats that are resistant to Avadex®, and have never been sprayed with Sakura®, were found to be Sakura® resistant. This…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Mini-series: ‘Pre-emergent: A tale of four herbicides’ – Episode 3: ‘Phorate’

  Previously on ‘Pre-emergent: A tale of four herbicides’… In Episode 1, AHRI researcher Roberto Busi turned to the dark side and evolved Sakura resistance in the lab, and then found this had caused cross-resistance to Boxer® and Avadex®, creating the world’s most wanted criminal ryegrass population. In Episode 2, Busi teamed up with Todd Gaines and Martin Vila-Aiub. They found that the world’s most criminal ryegrass could share its resistance trait by passing on just one single gene. Fortunately, they found that this gene was semi-dominant. Now, in Episode 3, Busi is at it again, trying to correct his…

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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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