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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It’s a quaint tradition that many brides follow – ‘Something old; represents continuity with the past and ‘Something new’ offers optimism for the future. ‘Something borrowed’ passes on another’s secrets for success and ‘Something blue’ represent key features of a solid relationship. Finally, ‘A sixpence in your shoe’ for prosperity. With the release of several new modes of action and chemical formulations, it’s helpful to first consider how these ‘new’ chemicals might revive some ‘old’ chemistry.
Every parent knows that we simply can’t have favourites. We must love each of our children equally. We at AHRI shouldn’t have favourites. We love all weeds research papers equally, but this paper is perhaps a little more equal! It is the work of Martin Harries from DPIRD involving a six-year focus paddock survey with data from 184 paddocks spanning 14 million hectares of cropping land in Western Australia, made possible with GRDC investment. Martin has recently published the weeds aspect of this research as part of his PhD and reported that we’re having a win with weed control in…
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.
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?
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?
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…
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.
Pre-emergent herbicides are a valuable tool to underpin crop competition and suppress weed seed production in-crop, but when growers also want to harness the power of retained stubble they often run into a sticking point where pre-emergent herbicide efficacy is compromised. Most growers and advisors are aware that products such as trifluralin are quite tightly bound if they contact stubble during application, however, AHRI research associate Dr Yaseen Khalil has been working to shed light on the behaviour of the newer pre-emergent herbicides and how to use them in no-till, stubble retention farming systems. Click through to learn more.
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.