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Growers set to ‘Diversify and Disrupt’ weeds in the Wimmera

This August, Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) is co-hosting the first WeedSmart Week to be held in Victoria.

Growers and agronomists are invited to attend the 3-day event, beginning with a 1-day forum at Horsham Town Hall on 27 August. The following two days will be spent touring farms around the Horsham area to see how growers are implementing the WeedSmart Big 6 tactics to minimise the impact of herbicide resistance on their businesses. The WeedSmart Week theme ‘Diversify and Disrupt – Conquer weeds with the Big 6’ says it all!

Kewell farmer Ian Ruwoldt is encouraging other Wimmera growers to attend WeedSmart Week in August as a good opportunity to formulate a plan to manage weeds through the year and through the rotation using the WeedSmart Big 6.

GRDC is the major sponsor of WeedSmart and Senior Regional Manager – South, Craig Ruchs, encourages growers from the Wimmera and beyond to make the most of the opportunity to be part of the focussed and interactive couple of days.

“Weeds frequently drive systems decisions, having the potential to affect flexibility, choice and ultimately profit. Taking a strategic and planned long-term approach, implementing the WeedSmart Big 6 principles, can help put growers back in control,” he said. “Pulses are a particularly important element of crop rotations for many growers in the Wimmera and the production of these crops presents both unique opportunities and challenges for weed control.”

“Bringing greater diversity in weed control tactics is critical in the ongoing battle against weeds and WeedSmart Week provides a highly effective platform to share research outcomes and on-farm innovation in a very practical and applied way.”

WeedSmart Week brings together a wealth of knowledge and experience from local and inter-state growers, researchers, advisors and technology experts – putting the spotlight on herbicide resistance and weed management. Growers can see what is and isn’t working first-hand and consider how key principles can be applied directly to their own farming operation.

GRDC Senior Regional Manager – South, Craig Ruchs (Photo: GRDC)

At the forum and on the bus trip growers, agronomists and researchers put all the options and ideas on the table for discussion. In August last year, three members of the Birchip Cropping Group, Ian Ruwoldt, Tim Rethus and Sam Eastwood, attended the 2018 WeedSmart Week in Narrabri, NSW.

Farming at Kewell, Ian Ruwoldt and his brother Greg have several strategies in place to manage ryegrass, bedstraw, marshmallow, vetch and bifora. Ian found the WeedSmart event in Narrabri to be very comprehensive and a good opportunity to think through the tactics that could help solve their weed problems.

“We currently use oaten hay, chemical rotation, imidazolinone (imi) chemistry with canola and a chaff deck on the harvester to keep weed numbers low,” said Ian. “Thinking about the WeedSmart Big 6 helps to formulate a plan to manage weeds through the year and through the rotation.”

“The forum covers a lot of topics and the discussions are very practical and very relevant to the region, so this year’s event will focus on the weed issues facing Wimmera and Mallee farmers.”

Attendees will have several opportunities to see and discuss cutting-edge technologies such as optical sprayers, robots and emerging ‘green-on-green’ spray sensors, and will find out how other growers in the region are implementing the Big 6 weed management tactics.

The growers, agronomists and researchers speaking and participating in expert panels at the Day 1 forum will spark important discussions about herbicide resistance and how the Big 6 tactics can be used to target the weed species and farming systems in the southern cropping region. There’s one thing for sure – doing nothing is not an option.

Register for this important 3-day event for the ‘early bird’ single ticket price of $130, guaranteeing a seat on both the bus tour days as well as the forum, all fully catered, at https://www.weedsmart.org.au/weedsmart-week-horsham/

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