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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

AHRI 2020 Wrap Up

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

AHRI 2020 Wrap Up

Despite the challenges 2020 presented, there continued to be excellent research which was published throughout the year. In this post we have collated our top five most read AHRI insights and our top five most listened to podcasts for 2020.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

The herbicide mixture is greater than the sum of herbicides in the mix

AHRI researcher, Dr Roberto Busi is no philosopher, but he has recently published some significant research that shows that Aristotle knew a thing or two about herbicide resistance despite being born over 2000 years before the first herbicide. Amazing! The message from this research – never assume that a herbicide mixture will fail even if there is resistance to both components of the mix.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

2,4-D antagonises glyphosate, especially in glyphosate resistant weeds

Some recent research by a former AHRI researcher Jingbo Li and others shows that glyphosate resistance changes this. They studied two populations of barnyard grass with relatively low-level glyphosate resistance and found that when 2,4-D Amine or Ester was added to the tank with glyphosate, barnyard grass control was greatly reduced. They went on to discover that this is due to an effect on uptake and translocation.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Reversing trifluralin resistance

They said it couldn’t be done – climbing Everest, flying to the moon and even deep-frying Mars bars. We were also told that we couldn’t reverse herbicide resistance. In the majority of cases, the experts are right – herbicide resistance is permanent, and we thought that was the case for all resistant weeds. Until now…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

On a good thing? Don’t stick to it! – the Director’s Cut

Welcome to the highlight reel of AHRI’s recently released blockbuster – ‘Don’t stick to it!’. Set in the labs, glasshouses and fields of this world-leading research powerhouse, and featuring renown giants of the herbicide resistance world – Powles, Busi, Yu and Owen, this latest exposé will have you seriously impressed! ‘Don’t stick to it!’ delves into five years of ground-breaking scientific discovery and its value to Australian farmers in their epic battle against profit-sucking weeds.

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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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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Mixing herbicides wins again

What sort of person goes to a cocktail party and sticks strictly to beer? A smart one! We all know that mixing drinks can hurt the next day. We can’t say the same for herbicide mixing though. The smart farmers and agronomists are mixing two or more herbicides targeting the same resistant weed to delay resistance and maximise weed control, and the science is supporting this approach. AHRI researcher Roberto Busi is a long-term advocate of herbicide mixing and in his recent paper which describes some computer modelling that he undertook with the help of Michael Renton.

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Canola field

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Revealing canola’s super-powers

This AHRI Insight is a follow-up on an earlier article ‘Crops are doin’ it for themselves’ to where we investigated the complex interactions of competitive crops and their weed suppression powers. While that paper focused on cereals, in this one we will consider the mechanisms at play in canola, a crop from the mustard family, long known for its allelopathic ability and yet the exact mechanisms are still shrouded in mystery.

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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)

AHRI insight – the 100 is up!

We’re undecided whether we should picture the AHRI communication team cutting through a massive banner as we run onto the ground or raising our bats in the air at the MCG after a long day in the middle. It’s been a long innings and is one that we have enjoyed immensely. To celebrate the 100th AHRI insight we’re reflecting on what have been the big stories that got you excited and made the biggest impact.

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