Crop competition

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them.

We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. A competitive crop will suffer less yield loss at the hands of the weeds, and will also reduce seed set of the weeds compared to an un-competitive crop. In other words more crop, fewer weeds.

There are six main aspects of crop competition:

  1. Higher seeding rate
  2. Narrow row spacing
  3. Orientation of crop – a crop sown east – west will give your crop enough sunlight, and shade the furrows to starve weeds of sunlight
  4. Vigorous crop traits
  5. Soil health – give your crop the best chance by having healthy soil
  6. Time of sowing – early sowing is usually best

It’s hard to get all of the six points above right, and growers need not aspire to practising all six of these competition factors, but they can use a range of these practices to ensure that their crops have a fighting chance against the weeds.

You can learn more about crop competition in our Diversity Era course, Crop Competition 101.

Articles

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Article
Ask an Expert

How does crop competition support other weed control tactics?

Crop competition is a quiet achiever in weed control that also has a synergistic effect when applied with other tactics. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

Can faba bean crops outcompete sowthistle?

Faba bean crops have the potential to significantly curb common sowthistle, a problematic weed with widespread resistance to key herbicides. Read More...
Article
News

Australian grain growers tackle herbicide resistance

Australian grain growers are responding to the challenge of increasing herbicide resistance in weeds through the adoption of IWM practices. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

How to beat barley grass in two years

Barley grass control requires a two-year, multi-pronged strategy using crop competition, herbicide-tolerant crops and effective in-crop herbicides. Read More...
Article
News

Plan your attack on the weed seed bank

Here we summarise the key components of the WeedSmart Big 6 strategies and the principles that underpin them. Read More...
Article
News

Ryegrass is adapted to a wide climatic range

Once considered a winter weed of southern cropping zones of Australia, annual ryegrass is being increasingly observed in more northerly districts and in summer crops in Victoria and South Australia. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

I’Anson Family Farms, Marrabel SA

Kym and Katie I’Anson are treating the serious soil constraints on their farms to grow more even crops and squeeze out the weeds. Read More...
Article
News

Invest in the weak link crop to avoid weed blow-out

South Australian farmers, Kym and Katie I'Anson, have added multiple tactics to control ryegrass in wheat, their weakest link crop. Variable rate lime, gypsum and seed has increased crop competition and the double knock and impact mill keep the fields clean. Read More...
Article
News

Double down on the double break in the high rainfall zone

A long-term trial at Lake Bolac demonstrated the strategies that control ryegrass in high rainfall zone cropping systems. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

Can pulse cover crops tackle multi-resistant ryegrass in irrigated systems?

Field pea provides an effective winter fallow clean to manage resistant ryegrass ahead of planting rice or wheat. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

Can multi-species planting provide effective weed control?

Some crops simply don’t have a competitive edge, but a multi-species planting might offer extra punch to smother weeds. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Jamie and Susie Grant, Jimbour Qld

Proactive use of automated optical weed detection technology, allows continuous spraying and treating smaller and smaller weeds. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Peter and Kylie Bach, Pittsworth Qld

Peter and Kylie Bach are using crops to compete with weeds throughout the year, aiming for 130% utilisation of their cropping land. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

How can I set up my summer crops to help manage weeds?

It pays to plan ahead to manage weeds in winter fallows destined from summer crops – such as cotton, sorghum, mungbean and sunflower. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

What strategies will rein in wild turnip in the northern region?

Wild turnip steals crop yield and requires additional control measures that together cost over $10 million every year across Australia. Read More...
Article
News

Remove the fetters from crops and they’ll trample the weeds

Addressing soil constraints, such as low pH (and the associated aluminium toxicity), enables the crop to compete strongly with weeds. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

How can I maximise grass weed control using hybrid canola?

For a competitive canola crop to halve grass weed seed set, use a vigorous variety, robust pre-em herbicide and the best agronomic package. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Single family, Coonamble NSW

The Singles gain good weed control year round using crops and fallow in both winter and summer on their farm near Coonamble. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Jason Rogers, Moree NSW

Keeping weed numbers down, managing patches and minimising weed seed set has been a high priority for Jason Rogers, Moree. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Andrew Kenny, Badgingarra WA

Andrew and Gina Kenny (Badgingarra, WA) use an integrated program of crop rotation, mouldboard ploughing, grazing and chaff lining to keep their weed numbers low. Read More...
Article
Article

Crop competition – give your crops the edge

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
Article

Spray drift & crop competition

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
Ask an Expert

Does delayed sowing help manage weed populations?

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Case Study
Case Study

Stephen and Michelle Hatty, Matong NSW

The Hatty family uses a double break crop sequence strategy of a pulse then canola, followed by wheat then barley to put firm downward pressure on the weed seed bank. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Tim Rethus, Horsham Vic

Wimmera grower Tim Rethus and his family are taking an integrated approach to the weed management with a strong focus on weed-free crops. Read More...
Article
Ask an Expert

What’s the best way to out-compete resistant annual ryegrass in cereals?

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
News

Creating stiff competition against summer weeds

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Case Study
Case Study

Krui Pastoral Co, Condamine, Qld

Jake has been working hard to keep on top of herbicide resistance in summer growing species including barnyard grass, liverseed grass, button grass and feathertop Rhodes grass. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Bruce family, Alford SA

Harvest weed seed control helps bring down grass weed numbers in the Bruce brothers' continuous cropping business. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Edwards family, Port Broughton SA

Pete Edwards is doing everything in his power to stop herbicide resistance in brome grass and wild radish. Read More...
Article
News

Getting the edge on brome grass on non-wetting soils

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
News

Winter pulses can compete, even without herbicide

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
Ask an Expert

What is the critical period for weed control?

Once a crop has passed the critical period for weed control, the crop should out-compete any new weed germinations. Read More...
Article
News

3-year strategy for sustainable brome grass management

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
Ask an Expert

Is it possible to apply additional competition to inter-row weeds?

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
Ask an Expert

Stewardship of synthetic auxin herbicides

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Article
News

Zero row spacing could take crop competition to a new level

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Case Study
Case Study

Gary Lang – Wickepin, WA

Sowing early also means the Langs can make use of trifluralin to provide pre-emergent weed control until the crop canopy closes. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Michael and Marnie Fels, WA

Mic and Marnie Fels use a wider range of ‘older’ off-patent herbicides, which helps keep herbicide costs to a minimum. Read More...
Article
News

Ramp up the competition in summer crops

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Case Study
Case Study

Kohlhagen Family, NSW

The Kohlhagens have developed and implemented a comprehensive weed management program for their 100 per cent cropping operation in southern NSW. Read More...
Article
News

Why consider sowing east-west?

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Case Study
Case Study

Mark Sandow, SA

Herbicide-resistant annual ryegrass has been an ongoing challenge for grain producers in the Mintaro area of South Australia since the 1980s. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Colin McAlpine, WA

Colin has thrown everything he can at reducing the weed burden on his farm while taking all precautions to protect the available herbicide modes of action. Read More...

Podcasts

View all
Audio
Podcast

S07E15: Faba beans pack a punch against sowthistle

Dr Michael Widderick explains what gives faba beans the competitive edge when it comes to out-competing sowthistle. Read More...
Audio
Podcast

S07E03: Longer coleoptile wheat protects seedlings from herbicide damage

On this episode of the WeedSmart Podcast, we learn about how wheat with a longer coleoptile offers some unique benefits from a crop protection standpoint. We also dig into the details of a weeds trial which shows a triple threat strategy, rather than traditional methods has the potential to produce the best results for weed control in the Southern region. Read More...
Audio
Podcast

S06E08: Innovative northern grower shares wins and Roundup Ready Xtend stewardship

Hear from Northern Grower Bruce Watson on his weed control wins and learn about the stewardship of Bayer's Xtend technology. Read More...
Audio
Podcast

S06E04: Narrower sorghum rows can halve weed seed production

Dr Michael Widderick joins us to explain research which found that narrower row spacing in sorghum leads fewer weeds. Read More...
Audio
Podcast

Weather forecast accuracy and crop competition trial results

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Audio
Podcast

Disc seeding systems

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...

Case Studies

View all
Case Study
Case Study

I’Anson Family Farms, Marrabel SA

Kym and Katie I’Anson are treating the serious soil constraints on their farms to grow more even crops and squeeze out the weeds. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Jamie and Susie Grant, Jimbour Qld

Proactive use of automated optical weed detection technology, allows continuous spraying and treating smaller and smaller weeds. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Peter and Kylie Bach, Pittsworth Qld

Peter and Kylie Bach are using crops to compete with weeds throughout the year, aiming for 130% utilisation of their cropping land. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Single family, Coonamble NSW

The Singles gain good weed control year round using crops and fallow in both winter and summer on their farm near Coonamble. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Jason Rogers, Moree NSW

Keeping weed numbers down, managing patches and minimising weed seed set has been a high priority for Jason Rogers, Moree. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Andrew Kenny, Badgingarra WA

Andrew and Gina Kenny (Badgingarra, WA) use an integrated program of crop rotation, mouldboard ploughing, grazing and chaff lining to keep their weed numbers low. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Stephen and Michelle Hatty, Matong NSW

The Hatty family uses a double break crop sequence strategy of a pulse then canola, followed by wheat then barley to put firm downward pressure on the weed seed bank. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Tim Rethus, Horsham Vic

Wimmera grower Tim Rethus and his family are taking an integrated approach to the weed management with a strong focus on weed-free crops. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Krui Pastoral Co, Condamine, Qld

Jake has been working hard to keep on top of herbicide resistance in summer growing species including barnyard grass, liverseed grass, button grass and feathertop Rhodes grass. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Bruce family, Alford SA

Harvest weed seed control helps bring down grass weed numbers in the Bruce brothers' continuous cropping business. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Edwards family, Port Broughton SA

Pete Edwards is doing everything in his power to stop herbicide resistance in brome grass and wild radish. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Gary Lang – Wickepin, WA

Sowing early also means the Langs can make use of trifluralin to provide pre-emergent weed control until the crop canopy closes. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Michael and Marnie Fels, WA

Mic and Marnie Fels use a wider range of ‘older’ off-patent herbicides, which helps keep herbicide costs to a minimum. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Kohlhagen Family, NSW

The Kohlhagens have developed and implemented a comprehensive weed management program for their 100 per cent cropping operation in southern NSW. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Mark Sandow, SA

Herbicide-resistant annual ryegrass has been an ongoing challenge for grain producers in the Mintaro area of South Australia since the 1980s. Read More...
Case Study
Case Study

Colin McAlpine, WA

Colin has thrown everything he can at reducing the weed burden on his farm while taking all precautions to protect the available herbicide modes of action. Read More...

Videos

View all
Video
Webinar

How faba beans pack a punch against sowthistle

Research shows there are opportunities to alter the agronomy of faba beans to suppress sowthistle growth and seed production in crop. Read More...
Video
Video

Season long control with crop competition

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Video
Video

Farming moisture : Beating weeds

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Video
Video

Soil health produces more crop, less weeds

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Video
Video

Rod Birch on how the Big 6 is keeping weeds at bay at Catalina Farms

Rod Birch (Coorow, WA) gives an overview of what Big 6 principles are working for them. He also explas how they're approaching weed control at new property acquisition, 'Koobabbie', which hadn't changed hands for 115 years. Read More...
Video
Video

WeedSmart Week Forum Day Videos

Watch all the videos from our Esperance WeedSmart Week Forum Day! Read More...
Video
Webinar

What’s next in the North for weed control?

Agronomists Peter McKenzie and Angus Dalgliesh discuss the weed control tactics their clients have been using to deal with their weed challenges.  Read More...
Video
Webinar

Ryegrass management in the High Rainfall Zone – What have we learnt?

Join Dr Chris Preston (University of Adelaide) and James Manson (Southern Farming Systems) as they discuss how the WeedSmart’s Big 6 strategies are best utilised to combat annual ryegrass in the High Rainfall Zone of South Eastern Australia. Read More...
Video
Webinar

Handling weeds in a strip and disc system

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Video
Webinar

You don’t know what you don’t know about managing weeds

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...
Video
Webinar

WeedSmart in HRZ – practical options for dealing with ryegrass

Help your crops win the war against weeds by increasing their competitiveness against them. We don’t want to give the weeds a free kick by growing un-competitive crops. Crop competition with weeds is a double-edged sword. There is the effect of the weeds on the crop, and the effect of the crop on the weeds. […]...

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