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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Blog: AHRI insight

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Thermal weed control – just hot air, or site-specific reality?

Did you know that rotary hoeing requires less energy than steaming? Or that offset discing requires less energy than microwaving? Well, that’s the case when it comes to controlling weeds. An epic effort to review 170 papers by a team from the University of Sydney (Guy Coleman et al) has shown that mechanical weed control options (eg. tillage) can use significantly less energy than thermal options (eg. heat) to kill weeds. Herbicide energy use sits somewhere in the middle.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Keep mixing herbicides

Roberto recently completed a project with GRDC investment where he sampled ryegrass from 17 paddocks across eight farms in Western Australia to see if there are benefits of proactively testing for herbicide resistance.  Across these tests, he found ryegrass that was resistant to Clethodim (Select) or Butroxydim (Factor) but no ryegrass that was resistant to the mix of the two. The same went for the pre-emergent herbicides as well, no resistance to mixes.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Chickpea vs annual ryegrass – shaking off the handicap

Chickpeas are short and annual ryegrass takes advantage! At 5’2″, Jonte Hall is pretty short by everyday standards, let alone by Harlem Globetrotter standards. Nicknamed ‘Too Tall’, recently-retired guard Jonte is the smallest player to wear the Globetrotter’s jersey since the team was founded in 1926. Globetrotter veteran Herbert ‘Flight Time’ Lang, a more conventional-sized 6-foot-3 forward, is quoted as saying: “Too Tall is proof that if you stay focused, act positive and take advantage of opportunities, good things can happen.” So, how can chickpea play to its strengths & win?

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Easy to adopt crop competition tools

“We choose to go to the Moon! We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,” John F. Kennedy, 1962. All well and good if you’re the American government with a king’s ransom to spend. But if you’re an Australian farmer? It’s probably better to do the easy things. “We choose to adopt stacked crop competition tools, not because they are hard, but because they are easy.”

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Twenty five years of testing annual ryegrass resistance – it’s a numbers game

Charles Sturt University has sown, sprayed and counted annual ryegrass from around 12 million seeds submitted from more than 5000 samples sent in from across Australia since it started testing for herbicide resistance in 1991…and that’s just ryegrass. Mind numbing stuff. But more than 5000 ryegrass samples? Most tested to five or six herbicides? Think about the value of that information! Dr John Broster and Professor Jim Pratley from CSU have analysed the data from ryegrass samples sent to the testing service over the 25 year period from 1991 to 2015.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Trifluralin resistance is different – recessive inheritance

We once thought that the genetics of eye colour was simple. Both parents have blue eyes, therefore, all of their children will have blue eyes. Easy peasy! Then science progressed and we realised that it isn’t actually that simple because several genes are involved. The genetics of herbicide resistance was simple. One parent is resistant to a herbicide, therefore, all of the offspring will be resistant because the gene is dominant or semi-dominant. This is true for almost all cases of herbicide resistance and was easy to understand. Until now. Click to read more about PhD student Jinyi Chen’s research.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger

Experiencing hardship is often the best way to learn the big lessons of life. Heartbreak, financial difficulty, hunger and hard manual labour are often times great motivators and they build resilience in those individuals that are not crushed by them.But, like banging your head against a brick wall, it is good when it stops! Taking a person who has experienced hardship and giving them an opportunity or access to resources will often result in great success. There are many examples where tenacity and grit have underpinned the success of social reformers, sportspersons, businesspeople and performers, and even every-day people in…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

2,4-D resistance in radish is not metabolic resistance

If I took a footballer, say Dustin Martin, and cut off one of his arms, chances are he wouldn’t function too well as a footballer anymore (although knowing Dusty he would probably work out a way around it!)If I then sewed his arm back on so it worked perfectly, he would be back to his Brownlow medal winning best.This is sort of what happens with 2,4-D in wild radish and explains why metabolic resistance is not the mechanism of wild radish resistance to 2,4-D.  We now know this thanks to some painstaking research by AHRI researcher, Danica Goggin with funding…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Pre-emergent herbicides in stubble – strike or foul?

Ever tried walking out onto a 10-pin bowling alley? It’s generally not pretty, often resulting in a rapid and undignified descent to ground level…But that’s just what we need to get pre-emergent herbicides to slide off stubble and into the soil, which can be difficult in higher residue systems. Rainfall is obviously a key driver in leaching herbicides from stubble before they dissipate, but as we all know rain can be an unpredictable beast. Fortunately, research has shown that some pre-emergent herbicides require far less rainfall to move off stubble and into the soil where they can control germinating weeds. 

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Wild radish resistant to Atrazine, super-sensitive to Bromoxynil

By Peter Newman Alexander Graham Bell famously said, “When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” Atrazine resistant wild radish looks a lot like a door closing, but in many cases, it’s also a door opening for Bromoxynil. Some new research by AHRI PhD student, Huan Lu, has shed some light on Atrazine resistant wild radish and the results have some very practical applications for growers and agronomists. The most common target site mutation that causes…

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