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Preserving herbicide chemistry long-term

Herbicide resistance is challenging growers and agronomists as they plan weed management programs to make the most of both old and new chemistry.

Ed Nixon, general manager of AGRIvision Consultants, says northern Mallee growers still have the chance to preserve older herbicides and keep as much diversity in the program as possible.

WeedSmart Week is a great opportunity for growers and agronomists to broaden their weed management knowledge and skills and AGRIvision is proud to be part of the organising team bringing this annual event to the Mallee,” he says.

AGRIvision consultant, Brad Bennett, who covers the Ouyen and northern Mallee region will speak about the strategic use of older chemistries at the WeedSmart Week forum day in Mildura on 30 August, 2022. This 3-day event includes bus tours to farms in the region and a machinery expo, where growers can see the latest in spray and camera technology, impact mills and other mechanical weed control tools being put to use on Mallee farms.

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“In the Victorian Mallee, over time grain growers are coming up against new weed challenges as our farming systems and control methods select for different weeds and resistance to herbicides,” says Ed. “We know that the routine use of any herbicide mode of action inevitably leads to resistance and that diversity in both herbicide and non-herbicide tactics is the best way to manage weeds.”

Knowing what chemistry is working now and what is falling over is invaluable information when planning future herbicide programs. Dr Peter Boutsalis will be presenting the latest information on resistance surveys and screening relevant to the Mallee region.

Ed says most growers are also managing a significant chemical budget, and keeping old chemistry ‘in the mix’ is an important component of maintaining cost-effective solutions, while accepting that using some new chemistry for long-term sustainability and profitability is inevitable.

The forum and farm tours will showcase growers like Bec Marshall, who farms a diverse cropping program of wheat, barley, hay (vetch and oaten), lentils, canola and irrigated faba beans at Normanville. Bec will outline how they use multiple tactics such as haymaking, double knocking and crop-topping to stop weed seed set.

Wade Nickolls is another grower who will be speaking at the forum and sharing his experience with managing weeds on their 8000 ha family farm at Pinaroo. The Nickolls family takes an ‘everything – including the kitchen sink’ approach that includes using impact mills for harvest weed seed control, diverse herbicide use, legume break crops, deep ripping, variable rate technology and hay making to keep weed numbers low.

Pinaroo grain grower, Wade Nickolls takes an takes an ‘everything – including the kitchen sink’ approach to keeping weed numbers low.

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 WeedSmart Big 6 tactics can be used to target the weed species and farming systems of the Mallee region.

The bus tours on Day 2 and 3 will showcase five farms in the Mallee region and includes a machinery expo, hosted by Ben White, Kondinin Group’s research manager.

Register for this important 3-day event for the ‘early bird’ single ticket price of $210 (GST incl), guaranteeing a seat on the broadacre-focus bus tours and machinery expo, as well as the forum, all fully catered. Early bird pricing is available until 31 July, 2022.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is a platinum supporter of WeedSmart. This investment ensures growers have access to world class research outcomes in strategies to mitigate weeds and control herbicide resistance.

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