Farming moisture : Beating weeds
Across the 4500 ha cropping area at ‘Narratigah’, the weed numbers are low as a result of the Single’s ‘farming moisture’ philosophy, which involves planting whenever there is sufficient subsoil moisture to establish a competitive crop on their heavy clay soils. Read the case study here.
Soil health produces more crop, less weeds
When constraints like soil acidity are addressed, crops are more competitive against weeds. Read more here.
Mechanical desiccation of mungbeans
Mungbean growers are interested in the possibility of using mechanical methods to desiccate crops prior to harvest – there’s a lot to learn yet but Lindsay Evans has given it a go and expects there to be a weed control spin-off benefit. Read more here.
Rod Birch on how the Big 6 is keeping weeds at bay at Catalina Farms
Catalina Farms is approximately 13,000 ha of 100% cropping, with 65% wheat, with the other 35% comprising of 20% canola and 15% lupins. The longterm rainfall is about 330ml per year and around 250-280ml of growing season rainfall.
Taking on a new property usually has its challenges, but there can be upsides too. Some of the challenges at Koobabbie were related to the fact it had been a livestock property and cropping machinery had never having been run through it. However, Rod explained that they have had some great news about the herbicides they are able to use.
Through the University of Western Australia’s resistance testing service, run by Dr Roberto Busi at AHRI, they found out some older chemistries were still effective, which was a pleasant surprise. Daniel Birch explains below in the Regional Update Podcast what they found out and how they used this information in their planning.
1:10 Crop rotations – Rod’s favourite rotation is Lupins – wheat – canola – wheat. It provides a lot of diversity for Modes of Action, as well as allows for nitrogen to go back into the soil through the lupin phase.
2:10 Crop Competition – the Birches are big fans of crop competition and it’s an essential part of their approach to controlling weeds.
3:00 Double knock – conditions haven’t been suitable for a double knock since 2016, but when the opportunity arises, it’s an important tool.
4:21 Mix and rotate herbicides – the crop rotations used at Catalina allow for really diverse chemical groups to be used, which is a great tactic to keep resistance at bay.
5:52 Stopping weed seed set – the Birches are trying to eliminate as many weeds in the crop as possible. Crop topping is a tool that they employ, as well as late spraying where necessary.
6:49 Harvest weed seed control – seed destruction is on the horizon at Catalina, but logistically has been a bit tricky.
7:21 Acquiring Koobabbie – it has been exciting for the Birches to be able to introduce more diverse rotations. They’ve been able to use Modes of Action which have never been used before.
9:48 Soil amelioration – liming has been a really beneficial tool for Catalina Farms. They also put out pot ash and gypsum. Deep ripping has also been a great tool to remove the compaction layer.
11:29 Big 6 benefits – controlling weeds is such an important strategy at Catalina Farms. Rod Birch said “We’ll never have a ceasefire on the war on weeds!”.
WeedSmart Week Forum Day Videos
List of videos
Interviews with the Esperance Pioneers. Chair: Lisa Mayer, interviewing Neil Wandel & Theo Oorschot
Rotating buys you Time, mixing buys you shots
Efficacious use of the new pre-ems, Brent Pritchard
Delivering regionally focused research
Crop competition in wheat and canola, Hugh Beckie
Summer weed control
Strategies for control of ryegrass, marshmallow, fleabane, portulaca, Greg Warren
Rotations to stop seed set and preserve chemistry, Tom Longmire
Soil Amelioration, Tom Edwards
Crop competition: Reduced row spacing, higher seeding rates, east-west sowing, precision seed placement & competitive varieties, Theo Oorschot
Farmer Experience – Utilising crop competition strategies and the Big 6, Mic Fels
Weed control – farmer systems discussion panel – Chair: Peter Newman, with Mark Wandel and Laura Bennett
What’s next in spray technology? Andrew Messina
What’s next in spray technology 2? Guillaume Jourdain
Innovation Panel – Chair: Ben White, with Guillaume Jourdain, Andrew Messina
Stacking the Big 6 in farming systems in WA presented by Greg Condon, with Peter Newman
Ryegrass management in the High Rainfall Zone – What have we learnt?
This webinar was hosted by Jana Dixon, WeedSmart’s High Rainfall Zone extension agronomist.
Innovative northern grower shares wins and Roundup Ready Xtend stewardship
Bruce is primarily a winter crop grower but also has a block of sorghum on 50cm rows (pictured above) sown into a cover crop of barley & lentils.
Farmer Bruce Watson and daughter
We also learn about Bayer’s Roundup Ready Xtend Crop System. This is Bayer’s new cotton weed control system. Bayer Marketing Lead for seeds, traits & round-up Donny Benn & Bayer Market Advancement Manager Matt Hayes joins us to tell us more about the stewardship around this approach.
Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System Field Day (Feb 10, 2021) at Locharba, Bayer’s research farm.
Locharba Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System trial (Bayer supplied).
New WeedSmart Content
Mix up your approach to fence line weeds – read more here.
Producer: Jessica Strauss
Presenters: Jessica Strauss & Peter Newman
The unsung hero – crop competition
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.
In this week’s podcast, AHRI Extension Agronomist Greg Condon and AgriVision Agronomy Consultant Matt Bissett (pictured) provide excellent overviews on the different crop competition approaches that can be employed.
There are six main aspects of crop competition:
1. Seed rate
2. Row spacing
3. Orientation (north-south vs. east-west)
4. Crop variety/species
5. Soil health
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.
Crop Competition is one of the Big 6, which you can learn all about here, but first, let your regular hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman take you on the crop comp journey in the podcast below!
Weather forecast accuracy and crop competition trial results
This week on the podcast, we look into how to utilise weather forecasts and get the latest information on crop competition trials conducted by YP AG.
Agriculture Victoria Seasonal Risk Agronomist Dale Grey provides an excellent overview of what weather forecasts to take seriously and those which you should probably take with a grain of salt. Dale has a real knack for simplifying this complicated topic, so if you want to get a good overview of the weather, he’s your man!
Dale refers to no breaking rains yet in the interview but since the interview, there have been some breaking rains across parts of southeast Australia. You can check out the latest map for May rain thus far here. Also on related climate topics, the ‘Climatedogs’ 🐶 🦴 animations (key climate drivers) were updated for a national audience recently and you can check them out here. And if you’d like to keep up-to-date with all of Dale’s weather forecasting, you can simply hit a button to subscribe to The Break here.
We’re also excited to have Agriservices Agronomist Chris Davey (pictured up top) on this podcast talking about crop competition at seeding time. Chris is based in Kadina, South Australia and he recently wrote a great article in YP AG’s agronomy newsletter, where he said ‘weed seed reduction starts at seeding’. There are multiple benefits of crop competition, including increasing crop yield in weedy situations, reducing weed seed set, and improving the efficacy of Harvest Weed Seed Control. Chris has kindly given us access to his article if you’d like to refer back to it after the interview on the results from YP AG’s recent trials and some tips on crop competition. You can download it here. You can find out more about YP AG here.
Join your hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman and…
Disc seeding systems
Disc seeding systems combined with a stripper front have been a popular topic over the last few years. While It’s a bit more of an obscure system, there still is a lot of interest on the topic.
In this podcast, you’ll hear from Murry Scholz. He’s based in Henty, NSW and has a John Deere, with a disc seeder on 7.5” rows. He’s a mixed farmer and 2017 was his first year using the disc seeder.
You may already be familiar with the Hatty family as they hosted growers on their farm for WeedSmart Week in 2017 and have been featured in our podcasts and stories. In this podcast, Stephen Hatty gives us some insight into his disc seeding operation. Stephen is based in Matong, NSW and has an NDF disc on 10” rows, on heavy clay soils. Like Murray, 2017 was the first year he used the disc seeding system.
This picture shows Murray’s John Deere single disc unit.
Even crop establishment between two different wheat varieties and wheat maturity on 7.5 inch rows at Murray’s farm in 2017 (disc seeding).
Stephen Hatty, with his father Rodney Hatty.
Stephen Hatty’s NDF disc unit up close.