Efficient summer weed management the focus of workshops

image of melons
Melon weeds in paddocks can deplete stored soil water and create problems at seeding time. Photo by AGRONOMO

The breadth of summer weed species present in the Western Australian grainbelt can make management decisions difficult, yet it is important to identify species early and correctly.

This maximises the effectiveness of summer weed control by allowing growers to select appropriate techniques that can be used on small, actively growing weeds.

Summer weed workshops will be held in locations including Mingenew on February 5, Merredin on February 7, Esperance on February 8, and Corrigin on February 22 – the first in a series of hands-on events in the WA grainbelt.

These workshops have Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment and are the result of GRDC Regional Cropping Solutions Network (RCSN) groups highlighting summer weed control as a high priority issue for grain growers.

Andrew Storrie, of AGRONOMO, is organising the events, with assistance from Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) weeds researchers Catherine Borger and Alex Douglas, as well as local grower groups.

Mr Storrie said summer rain in WA cropping areas was occurring frequently and growers needed to not only identify weed species early, but to ‘speak the same language’ when referring to them, as common names varied from location to location.

“While it is relatively simple to identify weeds when they are flowering, correct identification of seedlings is more challenging,” he said.

“Every grower understands that large weeds are harder to control and that in summer weeds grow faster and can set seed in weeks.

“Large weeds also use more soil water and can cause problems at seeding. Therefore, waiting until identification is easier is not the best option.”

Growers attending the workshops will have the opportunity to identify weeds that are at an early stage of development, using live specimens, and will be shown identification short cuts and handy tools to use.

Mr Storrie will also address how to get good control of summer weeds using 2,4-D, under the new regulations relating to this herbicide.

“Using very coarse or coarser spray quality may require changes to application set up to maintain efficacy. We will run through how to select the best nozzles for the task and discuss tank mixes for dominant local weed species,” he said.

“A local grower using innovative weed management practices is likely to be present at each event to discuss their particular approach.”

DPIRD representatives will cover results from WA weed surveys in recent years and present specific management programs for common locally-found weeds.

Mr Storrie said that, in addition to information about plant identification, the workshops will provide advice about:

  • Why it pays to control summer weeds early
  • Best management practices for summer weeds, including presentation of local trial results
  • Better summer spray application
  • The new regulations on the use of 2,4-D and how it affects summer spraying
  • How to get the best control and stay within the regulations
  • Understanding how to maintain efficacy using a very coarse or coarser spray quality with 2,4-D tank mix partners.
  • New technologies for weed management.

Each of the workshops will be held from 1pm to 5pm.

To register or f

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