We answer a few poignant questions in this insight, including: ‘Can crops do more of the heavy lifting when it comes to weed control than modern farming methods have allowed them?’ or ‘Have we tried so hard to protect crops from weeds that we have forgotten that they have innate mechanisms to ‘stand on their own two feet’ and ‘do it for themselves’?’ A series of important studies into the practical implications of harnessing the crop’s ability to defend itself against weeds are starting to produce important results, leading to improvements in farming practice and the development of new cultivars.
Tag Archives | crop competition
Wine and cheese. Strawberries and cream. Crop competition and pre-emergent herbicides. Ok so the last one doesn’t quite have the same ring about it but they really do go together nicely. Combining a competitive canola variety with pre-emergent herbicides has proven to be an effective strategy for reducing annual ryegrass seed set. Recent trials showed that with effective pre-emergent herbicides, a competitive hybrid canola variety can reduce ryegrass seed set by 50% compared with a less competitive open-pollinated (OP) variety. That’s impressive. But should we tar all OP varieties with the same brush?
Jonah Lomu stood at 6’5”, weighed 120kg, and ran the 100m in a lazy 10.7 seconds. He could play the power game, the speed game, and he could step. He was the ultimate competitor. Mace wheat, on the other hand, is agile, dependable, and can play the yield game, but its ability to compete with weeds is limited. However, yield is king, and hence Mace has been an extremely successful variety where weeds are under adequate control. What if we could have a wheat variety that could play the yield game and the competition game? What would that look like?