Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Glyphosate resistant wild radish

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Glyphosate resistant wild radish

Where were you when you first heard that Princess Dianna had died? Where were you when Glenn McGrath made 50 runs? And, where were you when you first heard that wild radish had evolved resistance to glyphosate? Ok, it’s not quite as big as Glenn McGrath making 50 (he made 61 in fact), but it is big news for Australian agriculture that will cause many of us to re-think how we use glyphosate in the future. Three glyphosate resistant wild radish populations were discovered by AHRI PhD scholar Mike Ashworth, all were from the northern wheatbelt of WA. Two populations…

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Piece of grass

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Just add water

It regulates Earth’s temperature, our bodies need it when we’re thirsty, and it covers about 70% of Earth’s surface. Water is essential for a number of reasons, and here is one more. Most Australian growers and agronomists would expect that 2.5 L/ha trifluralin or the full label rate of Sakura® would give between 70 and 90% ryegrass control in crop. However, research by Dr Catherine Borger (DAFWA Merredin, WA) has shown that it depends on how you apply it. Catherine found that ryegrass control with Trifluralin or Sakura® increased from 53% to 78% as the carrier volume increased from 30…

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Grass

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Focus

Australian golfer Adam Scott keeps his eye on the ball. His ability to concentrate and focus amongst the chaos of a major golf tournament is outstanding. We would all love to focus on one task and do it well, but the reality of life is that we are rarely afforded this luxury. For grain growers, managing resistant weeds is just another thing to fit into the complexity that is farming. Growers that afford themselves the time and motivation to focus on managing resistant weeds are having a win. They declare war on the weed seed bank and have a ‘take…

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Windrow burning

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Windrow burning – a good place to start

The best option to maximise the weed seed bank is to harvest high and spread all of the weed seeds evenly over the paddock. This will give you something to spray next year. If you, like most others, feel that this is a bad idea, it may be time to start narrow windrow burning. Narrow windrow burning is a good place to start to see if this harvest weed seed control caper is all it is cracked up to be. The first step is to spend some time familiarising yourself with a beer can. The internationally accepted harvest height when…

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Machines plowing field

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

To win the war you must win the battles

As Darkan farmer and inventor of the Harrington Seed Destructor, Ray Harrington, aptly says, “Harvest weed seed control is a pain in the ….” – but it is an imperative tool in continuous cropping systems”. “To win the war you must win the battles. Harvest weed seed control is an important battle. If you’re not implementing weed seed control at harvest, you’re out of the farming game”. It’s a tough message to hear, and it’s one that growers from Wagin, Lake Grace and Ravensthorpe in Western Australia heard at AHRI’s “More crop, less weeds – sustainably!” workshops last week. The…

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Grass

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Pollen flow of resistance genes

“It wasn’t me, it was him!” Many grain growers blame their neighbours for developing herbicide resistance. Growers often feel helpless! Regardless of how well you manage your weeds, unfortunately it is inevitable that you will inherit the resistance problem from your neighbour. It is true that resistance genes can flow a long way in pollen. AHRI researcher Dr Roberto Busi demonstrated that ryegrass pollen can travel up to three kilometres. More research in theUShas shown that gene flow via pollen varies between species, depending on the level of out crossing and pollen characteristics. It is no surprise that the resistance…

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Nature landscape of grass trees and sky

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Think outside the drum

If herbicides alone were the answer to all of our weed problems we would have eradicated crop weeds years ago. Most of us now realise that to achieve true weed control success we need to add non-herbicide tools into the mix. It doesn’t matter which weed, which crop, or which country we are talking about, the benefits of good cultural practices apply everywhere. Some excellent long term Canadian research has confirmed how important it is to combine good cultural practices with herbicide use. The Agri-Food Canada trials show that after nine years of full herbicide rate, high barley seeding rate,…

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Man touching a plant

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

How to break glyphosate

To break a herbicide such as glyphosate takes considerable effort. The Americans have broken glyphosate in a big way due to overuse, and Brazil and Argentina are not far behind. As an indication of the scale of the problem, in Arkansas last year over half of the cotton crops were hand weeded before harvest. How did they achieve this amazing feat? In a nutshell, they universally adopted Roundup Ready crops and abandoned almost all other forms of weed control for about a decade. The USA now has the unenviable title of the world’s biggest herbicide resistance problem. You may well…

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Truck transporting vehicles for agriculture

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Weed Destructor integrated into harvester

The Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD) is on the verge of taking the step that most grain growers would like to see. The majority of Australian grain growers who have seen the HSD are very positive about the concept of destroying weed seeds as they exit the harvester. It seems crazy that we would spread the weed seeds back over the field (so we have something to spray next year!). However, many growers have commented that they are reluctant to tow such a machine behind their harvester. Agricultural engineers from the University of South Australia in collaboration with AHRI, are taking…

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Older man giving speech

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Do Monsanto have the next big thing?

Imagine if some technology came along that made glyphosate kill glyphosate resistant weeds. If this did happen, what would we do with this technology? BioDirectTM (aka RNAi) is a new concept from Monsanto that could do just that. It could be the next big thing for the herbicide industry. The ‘i’ in RNAi stands for ‘interference’. RNA is essentially a small piece of genetic code that all living things use to carry out a specific function within a cell, including coding enzymes that plants need to survive. One way of killing the plant is to spray a herbicide that stops…

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