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
What’s next in the North for weed control?
Angus’ presentation focuses on the current practices for weed control in Queensland, highlighting the need for an integrated approach to weed control in order to preserve existing herbicides.
Topics covered include:
Residual chemistry – In-crop and fallow
Problem weeds moving forward
Peter discussed some of the tactics currently used for weed management in the Liverpool Plains of Northern NSW, and what the future might hold.
Topics covered include:
Current levels of resistance/tolerance in summer and winter weeds
Rotation planning/fixed rotations
Harvest weed seed control
Green-on-green technology and GPS systems
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.
Considerations for pre-emergent herbicides with dry sowing
In this webinar, we focus on what factors influence the residual control of weeds by pre-emergent herbicides with a focus on Trifluralin, Sakura and new-to-market herbicides.
Join Chris Davey, YPAG and WeedSmart Extension Agronomist and Mark Congreve, ICAN Senior Agronomist as they assess the sowing issues in South Australia and discuss strategies on using pre-emergents.
Factors covered include
Rainfall forecast (after application)
Characteristics of the herbicide
Characteristics of the crop
Sowing time (tine vs disc) – sowing depth, speed, soil throw, stubble
GRDC Spray Application Manual
This Spray Application GrowNotes™ manual provides information on how various spraying systems and components work, along with those factors that the operator should consider to ensure the sprayer is operating to its full potential.
This manual focuses on issues that will assist in maintaining the accuracy of the sprayer output while improving the efficiency and safety of spraying operations. It contains many useful tips for your spray operations.
Farmer questions answered on Group G herbicides and optimum application temperature
In this follow-up to last year’s webinar on Group Gs, Dr Chris Preston, University of Adelaide, Professor of Weed Management and WeedSmart’s Greg Condon focus on farmer questions around Group G herbicide use.
They explain the new Group G chemistry in simple terms and address questions around what temperature range provides optimum herbicide efficacy.
How do I make the right decision on using Group Gs?
Choosing and applying the right pre-emergent herbicide can be difficult, particularly if herbicide resistance is becoming a challenge in a no-till system. Join Dr Chris Preston, University of Adelaide (UA) professor weed management and WeedSmart’s Chris Davey as they explain the new Group G chemistry and de-mystifies which Group G works best for winter cropping systems.
Testing all of your herbicides for resistance with Roberto Busi
Dr Roberto Busi
Roberto discusses what the current levels of resistance to knock-down herbicides (glyphosate and paraquat) are, resistance to new and old pre-emergent herbicides and resistance to clethodim.
The results are discussed with Peter Newman by analysing the pros and cons of herbicide resistance testing and the value of herbicide efficacy and resistance testing with new herbicides coming into the Australian market from 2021.
Glyphosate Resistance Update with Peter Boutsalis
Dr Peter Boutsalis from the University of Adelaide joins this webinar to discuss tips to optimise the efficacy of glyphosate and when and when not to use the double knock strategy.
Peter also shares the latest results from the GRDC-funded random weeds survey in the Eyre Peninsula and southern Victoria and how the resistance levels in these areas have changed over the last 5 years.
You don’t know what you don’t know about managing weeds
Agronomists play a key role in the northern region, not only in identifying and tackling crop weeds but also in protecting chemistries. In the face of this challenge, utilising the WeedSmart Big 6 tools is showing results in tackling problem weeds.
Join Crop Consultants Australia’s Director Ben Dawson, as he hosts Dr. Chris Preston and Paul McIntosh from WeedSmart and they discuss the role that agronomists can play in breaking this cycle.
New chemistry – what’s new, what’s coming & how to keep them for longer
There is a range of new pre and post-emergent herbicides coming to the market in the coming seasons which will broaden weed control options and use patterns.
As new chemistry becomes available it is crucial for all involved to protect the longevity of any new products and minimise the risk of resistance.
In this webinar, WeedSmart’s Southern Extension Agronomist Greg Condon will explore the opportunities these new herbicides provide growers and how we can protect these herbicides using the WeedSmart Big 6.
Know thy enemy – biology of our most problematic crop weeds with Dr Catherine Borger
These weeds cost growers $22.5 and $1.7 million per year, respectively. Understanding the ecology of these species is vital to developing a successful weed management plan.
A five-year GRDC project produced results on emergence patterns, seed bank persistence, seed shedding and competitive ability of great brome and barley grass, in Western Australia and South Australia (‘Seed bank ecology of emerging weeds’ UA00156).
The project found that three to four years seed set control was needed to remove a great brome or barley grass soil seed bank.
Great brome had high seed production in Western Australia and South Australia. Barley grass had much higher seed production in South Australia than Western Australia. Great brome grass and barley grass reduced crop yield, and in 2019, great brome at low to high densities reduced economic returns from a Mace wheat crop at Wongan Hills by $90-205/ha. Barley grass reduced economic returns of wheat by $67-138/ha.
Data on weed ecology and competitive ability was used to update a decision support tool; the Weed Seed Wizard (WSW).
The updated model was used to investigate harvest weed seed control (HWSC) as a potential management technique for great brome grass and barley grass.
The modelling indicated that harvest weed seed control is a valuable tool in the management of these species, even in the years where most weed seed is shed prior to harvest.
You can read Catherine’s paper here: Great brome and barley grass – modelling the long-term value of harvest weed seed control