Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

AHRI insight – the 100 is up!

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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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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Chickpeas can compete

There are few herbicide options for sowthistle control in chickpea crops, making the perfect recipe for a good ol’ sowthistle blowout. Despite all of this, the latest research by Michael Widderick, Adam McKiernan and Greg Harvey from QDAF with GRDC investment is finding that chickpeas can win the competition against sowthistle if they stack their deck. Growing a chickpea crop at narrow row spacing and high crop density in northern cropping regions can greatly reduce sowthistle seed production without reducing chickpea yield. Click through to find out more!

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

What matters more? Crop sequence or seeder?

Can we get away with a single break crop if we throw enough ‘aggressive agronomy’ at a ryegrass population? Are expensive herbicides worth the money?  What is better, disc or tyne? Why were the batsmen tampering with the ball, shouldn’t that be the bowler’s job? These are all questions that were being asked by a local project committee of growers and advisers, and there was only one way to answer them. Enter Tony Swan from CSIRO. He and his team embarked on a massive, long-term research effort in Temora NSW, working with FarmLink to make it happen.

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

iHSD – encouraging research despite challenges during 2017 harvest

It would be remiss of us to talk about the latest integrated Harrington Seed Destructor (iHSD) research without acknowledging the challenges with this new machinery during the 2017 harvest. It was frustrating for everyone, but the researchers, manufacturers and suppliers are playing the long game, and they are dedicated to succeeding in the long run. Recent research by Michael Walsh commenced at AHRI and was completed at Sydney University with help from John Broster at Charles Sturt University (CSU), shows that despite the problems that have been experienced with the new machines, iHSD mills are passing the research tests with flying…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Sowthistle – know the enemy, exploit its weakness

Going into the 1932-33 Ashes tour in Australia, Don Bradman was averaging around 100, and he had averaged 139 in the 1930 tour of England. He seemed unbeatable. How then, did he go on to only averaging a paltry 56.57 in 1932-33 Ashes? Simple, the English cricket team had discovered his weakness, short, fast, leg side bowling known as bodyline, and they employed this tactic much to the chagrin of the Australian public. ‘It’s just not cricket!’ When we are faced with a new enemy, that is seemingly unbeatable, we need to investigate its weaknesses and then perhaps we can…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

When does a seed become a seed?

When does a fracas become a melee? When does a cake become a soufflé? When does a wild radish seed become a viable seed, after which time spraying with a crop topping herbicide becomes futile? We know that for grass weeds we need to crop top or spray top sometime between flowering and milky dough of the grass seed (depending on the herbicide) to achieve high levels of control, but this timing is not well understood for broadleaf weeds such as wild radish. In the early 2000’s, Dr Aik Cheam from DAFWA did a great job of describing the critical wild…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

How a new wheat variety could compete with weeds like Jonah Lomu did on the field

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?

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narrow windrow burning

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Harvest weed seed control is now mainstream

Australians invented the lawn mower, rotary clothes hoists, plastic bank notes, WiFi, the electric drill, and five of the six harvest weed seed control (HWSC) techniques. And while the Canadians invented the chaff cart (to feed livestock) it was Australian farmers and researchers who started using it for HWSC. So we’re going to claim HWSC as a true blue Aussie invention too! We are the inventors of some of the key tools of HWSC and a recent GRDC grower survey has shown that we are by far the world leaders in the adoption of these practices. Not so long ago…

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stressed weeds

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Why thirsty weeds are hard to kill

Unfortunately, large parts of Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland are as dry as a London newspaper! This edition of AHRI insight looks to address the issue of spraying stressed weeds. We had to go back to 1995 to find some relevant research, but it was worth it. The GRDC funded research conducted by Dave Minkey and John Moore at DAFWA in the 90s is pure gold! In a dry year, we’re often faced with the whole kit and caboodle – moisture stressed weeds, high temperatures, low relative humidity and long durations between rainfall events.

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HSD

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Harvest weed seed control tools – they all work

On November 5th, 2010, a truck arrived at Yuna at the northern tip of the Western Australian wheatbelt. Its cargo was a John Deere 9650 harvester with a tow-behind Harrington Seed Destructor attached. Twenty local farmers had arrived to see the new machine that they’d heard about for so long. And what did he find from two years of this GRDC funded, AHRI supported research? One, solitary number: 60%. That’s not the whole story though…read on for more!

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