Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Wild oat resistance takes effort

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Wild oat resistance takes effort

Many young people don’t like the taste of beer, but they know if they work hard, endure the awful bitter taste and hideous hangovers for a few years, they will eventually like the stuff. It takes effort, but if they stick at it long enough they can get there. And, believe it or not, you have to work pretty hard to evolve resistance in wild oats. But if you stick at the same practice long enough (it takes effort), you can get there! We have previously reported AHRI research showing that wild oats evolve resistance slowly because they are both…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Clean seed – most improved

The Carlton football club have improved out of sight this year. The mighty Blues have already won more games than they did last year and the season isn’t even half done! But they still have room for improvement. The Fremantle Dockers on the other hand… Grain growers in WA get the most improved award for seed cleaning this year. A study by AHRI researcher Mechelle Owen in 2015 found that 41% of grower seed samples were completely weed free compared to 27% when the survey was first conducted in 2008. Gold star to these growers! The 2008 study concluded that…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

27% achieved it. Can you?

Cricketer Glen McGrath was a specialist bowler, but he couldn’t bat to save himself. NFL punter Steve O’Neil was a specialist kicker. He once punted the ball a record 98 yards, but could he throw? It turns out that seed cleaners are specialists at cleaning seed. Go figure! Research by Pippa Michael (now Curtin) and AHRI researcher Mechelle Owen from 2008 showed that 73% of cleaned crop seed samples had some level of weed seed contamination. The most common weed species found were ryegrass, wild radish, brome grass and wild oat. The kicker? Many of these populations were also herbicide resistant!…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Horror movie

“Horror movie right there on my TV, horror movie it’s the 6.30 news”, Skyhooks Weeds researchers and communicators can be a depressing bunch, always bringing out more bad news about the latest herbicide resistant weeds. A little bit like the 6.30 news, always focusing on the negative story. We could say that the discovery of ALS (SU and IMI herbicide) resistant barley grass by AHRI researcher Mechelle Owen in the 2010 survey of Western Australia is a sign of things to come, and it is a major threat to cropping in the central wheatbelt. Or we could focus on the…

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Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Triple knockdown resistance

You can’t make the same mistake twice. The second time you make it, it’s no longer a mistake. It’s a choice. AHRI PhD scholar (now former) Adam Jalaludin recently documented the first confirmed case of resistance to all three knockdown herbicides, glufosinate, glyphosate and paraquat, in a population of Crowsfoot grass (Indian goosegrass). And while we’re at it, let’s throw in the grass selective herbicides as well.  Not only is this population from a palm nursery in Malaysia resistant to four groups of herbicide, it demonstrated the highest level of glyphosate resistance ever recorded! What mistake was made? It’s the…

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Glasshouse with plants

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Susceptibility testing

Who uses cloth nappies (diapers) these days? Almost nobody. So how is it that the premium cloth nappy soaker, NapiSan, is still a successful product? The answer is that the company who make NapiSan cleverly repositioned their product as the premium laundry stain remover. We at AHRI are tired of being the bearers of bad news so we have decided it is time to reposition herbicide resistance testing services. Enter the new and improved “Susceptibility Testing” – it will tell us which herbicides will work next year rather than those that won’t, and shows us where to focus our efforts…

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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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Ryegrass growing boxes on tables

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Break the glyphosate habit

We are creatures of habit. For some reason I always buy Colgate toothpaste, the other brands don’t even get a look in. Mrs Marsh was just so trustworthy and I daren’t use another brand for fear of my teeth falling out. Similarly, when it comes to knockdown herbicides, most growers automatically reach for the glyphosate. Such a reliable, brilliant herbicide that rarely lets them down. But this year may be the first year that glyphosate fails for many Australian grain growers as resistance to this herbicide is going through the roof in some areas. Random surveys of WA by AHRI…

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Brome grass

Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI)

Perfect storm

A perfect storm is brewing for what could potentially be another big herbicide resistance problem in Australia. The Group B herbicide sulfosulfuron (Monza®) is about to get a lot cheaper, and many growers are looking to increase their use of Group B Imi tolerant barley and wheat varieties in the near future. Past experience tells us that reducing the price often results in dramatic increases in the use of a given herbicide. This is likely to have a big impact on the evolution of Group B resistance in brome grass and barley grass. AHRI researcher Mechelle Owen found that 13%…

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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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