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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Rules of thumb

Tag Archives | management

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Rules of thumb

Rule of thumb: A useful principle having wide application but not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable in every situation. “Then they measured my right thumb, and desired no more; for by a mathematical computation, that twice round the thumb is once around the wrist, and so on to the neck and waist, and by the help of my old shirt, which I displayed on the ground before them for a pattern, they fitted me exactly” – Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels. Where would we be without rules of thumb in agriculture? No, they are not 100% scientifically accurate, but…

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Man in growth area

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Action stations

“To take advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime, we must act in the lifetime of the opportunity” -James T Valvano. Valvano was the coach of the NC state basketball team in 1983 who were the unlikely winners of the title in the dying seconds of the game. In summing up the recent WSSA Summit on herbicide resistant weeds in Washington DC last week, Dr Harold Coble relived being at the game and said “this may be the opportunity of a lifetime, to work together to get herbicide resistant weeds under control”. The USA have taken the title from Australia…

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Chaff cart

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Spoiled rotten

Kids these days, they are spoiled rotten. “We used to get up in the morning at half past ten at night, half an hour before we’d gone to bed, eat a lump of cold poison, work 29 hours down mill and pay the mill owner for permission to come to work. And you tell that to the young people of today and they won’t believe you.” – Monty Python Farmers these days, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to harvest weed seed control options. There are now five commercially available tools to remove weed seeds at harvest with…

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Ryegrass growing boxes on tables

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Think global

Herbicides are as important to global food production as antibiotics are to human health” – Professor Stephen Powles. Humanity has faced some major challenges in the past and has always met these challenges through innovation. The extremely infectious and deadly smallpox virus plagued people for centuries and yet by 1980 we had eradicated it on a global scale. The innovation? A newly perfected vaccine, and a huge, worldwide collaborative effort. But while smallpox is gone, herbicide resistance lives on and as AHRI Director Stephen Powles believes, it is posing a huge threat to global food security. Our population is exploding…

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Triple disc of machine for agriculture

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Never mix trifluralin and…

Mum – ‘blue and green should never be seen’ Wife – ‘never mix swirls and stripes’ Dad – ‘never drink on an empty stomach’ Sam Kleemann – ‘never mix trifluralin and a single disc seeder’. It will come as no surprise to many that researcher Sam Kleemann from the University of Adelaide found that trifluralin gave poor ryegrass control and reduced crop establishment when wheat was sown with a single disc opener in three trials between 2008 and 2012. Some growers favour single disc, zero till seeding because the lack of soil disturbance may reduce weed emergence. Sam observed this…

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Researcher in field

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Sow west young man

“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country”. Horace Greeley, 1865. Horace believed that going west to fertile farm land would be the answer to poverty and unemployment in the USA. Sowing west could be part of the answer to weed management. There is a new kid on the block in the competition between crops and weeds, and the best thing about it is that it is FREE! East-west sowing is…

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People in field

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Burning wet windrows

Ten years ago in WA we made a big song and dance about burning narrow windrows to destroy weed seeds and many grain growers jumped on board for the first time. You’ll never guess what happened! Summer rain, and plenty of it. When we came out of hiding (expecting to be lynched by farmers with burning torches) we were pleasantly surprised to find that the windrows actually burnt really well after they were given a couple of weeks to dry out. Another up-side was it was easy to keep the fire in the windrow. In 2011 when AHRI ran workshops…

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Wild radish flower

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Left jab, right hook

“Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.” Muhammad Ali. A good boxer uses combinations of punches to beat his opponent. A good farmer uses diverse combinations to beat weeds. Herbicides and crop competition are the left jabs, harvest weed seed control is the right hook that delivers the knock-out blow. In 2008, AHRI researcher Dr Michael Walsh and colleagues published a paper showing that 2,4-D resistant wild radish could be controlled by 2,4-D if there was elevated wheat crop competition. This demonstrates that if weeds are noticeably affected but…

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Map

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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