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WeedSmart Week returns to Queensland

Grain growers in Queensland and northern NSW have taken heed of the impact herbicide resistance has had in other regions and been proactive in keeping weed numbers low.

To keep ahead of the ever-evolving weed challenges, growers and agronomists are invited to attend WeedSmart Week when the event returns to Queensland in February 2023.

Program leader, Jessica Strauss says early implementation of the herbicide and non-herbicide tactics that form the WeedSmart Big 6 effectively minimises the impact of herbicide resistance on farm profitability.

“The WeedSmart Big 6 tactics have been researched and demonstrated in the field so growers can confidently employ a diverse and integrated weed management program that will attack the weed seed bank and reduce the risk of herbicide resistance,” she said. “WeedSmart Week events provide a unique opportunity for growers and advisors to share information and experience to solve real-world weed problems.”

The 2-day event will be held on 7 and 8 February, 2023 at the Dalby Showgrounds, beginning with a forum where speakers will provide up-to-date information on how WeedSmart solutions can improve broadacre crop yields in southern and central Queensland and northern NSW. The program features panel sessions with growers and agronomists discussing their wins and challenges with managing weeds in commercial settings using the WeedSmart Big 6 tactics.

Day 1 will also feature a machinery expo at the Dalby Showgrounds where growers will speak about their experiences with the latest in spray and camera technology, autonomy, impact mills and other mechanical weed control tools.

The second day is a farm tour with prominent growers of the Western Downs region showcasing their farms and sharing their innovative weed control methods.

“This will be the ninth WeedSmart Week event and is made possible through the support of the GRDC as the major sponsor and a wide range of herbicide and machinery companies – all with skin in the weed control game,” said Ms Strauss.

Growers and advisors from other regions can apply for GRDC support for study tours to attend events such as WeedSmart Week. Growers that have attended previous WeedSmart Week events have returned home armed with new knowledge and heightened enthusiasm to tackle their weed problems head-on.

“We are also encouraging high school and university students to take this opportunity to better understand the mechanisms and impact of herbicide resistance,” said Ms Strauss. “This knowledge is invaluable to early career advisors so they can confidently discuss and recommend both herbicide and non-herbicide options to their clients.”

The growers, agronomists and researchers speaking and participating in expert panels at the Day 1 forum will spark important discussions about crop competition, the role of residual herbicides, new spray application technologies and harvest weed seed control options for northern cropping systems. Mixing and rotating herbicide modes of action is an essential and potentially complex tactic that requires a good understanding of the available chemistries and their best fit in the crop rotation.

Day 2 is a bus tour to visit farms in the Western Downs region.

Register for this important 2-day event for the single early bird ticket price of $170, or $160 for students, which includes the forum, bus tour and machinery expo, all fully catered. Early bird pricing ends on 8 January 2023.

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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