Welcome to the WeedSmart Podcast Portal!
The future of robotics in broadacre ag and herbicide resistance in the US
In this podcast, we learn about what’s happening in the robotics space for broadacre agriculture from Professor Salah Sukkarieh, who is an international expert in the research, development and commercialisation of field robotic systems.
He discusses how regulation now, rather than where the technology is at, is the biggest barrier to progress in this space. We also hear from University of Illinois Crop Sciences Associate Professor, Aaron Hager.
He gives us an update on how growers are dealing with herbicide resistance in the US and how metabolic resistance has been a real driver for change. He also shares what’s happening in herbicide resistance research in the states.
What some of the latest robots look like in ag
RIPPA, the Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application is the production prototype for the vegetable growing industry. Based on the Ladybird design, the platform configuration for RIPPA was modified to make it lighter, rugged and easier to operate.
Mounted on RIPPA is VIIPA, Variable Injection Intelligent Precision Applicator, used for autonomous spot spraying of weeds at high speed using a directed micro-dose of liquid.
RIPPA has also been demonstrated in an apple orchards showing autonomous row following and changing rows, autonomous real-time apple detection and targeted variable rate fluid dispensing using VIIPA.
According to Professor Salah Sukkarieh, robots in broadacre agriculture could become more mainstream, if the regulation is such that it is not a barrier to that happening.
This is RIPPA, which stands for Robot for Intelligent Perception and Precision Application
Pre-emergent herbicide application tips with Chris Preston & Heidi Gooden
With seeding and pre-emergent herbicide application kicking off around the country, we got in touch a couple of herbicide application experts to share some timely advice on getting spraying right this season.
Dr Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide gives a preview of his WeedSmart Webinar “Use pre-ems to maximise winter crops in the South”, sharing valuable insights into management strategies around pre-em application and also gives us an update on the resistance levels to pre-ems.
Dr Chris Preston
DeltaAg Agronomist and Consultant Heidi Gooden, who is based in Lockhart, runs us through the current dry spell conditions being experienced in the Southern Cropping Region and what impact this has on pre-em herbicide application. She also provides insights into knocking down lingering Summer weeds and more.
DeltaAg Agronomist and Consultant Heidi Gooden in the field
As mentioned earlier, our first Webinar Series for 2018 is next week and features Mark Congreve from ICAN and Chris Preston from the University of Adelaide. Both experts will be joined by AHRI’s Peter Newman and will be discussing pre-emergent herbicide tactics in the North and South, respectively. You can find out the full details here.
Take a listen
Mixing herbicides with David Gooden
With seeding around the corner (or potentially already started for some!), keeping weeds at bay will also be on the agenda. In this podcast, we chat with Lockhart farmer David Gooden. David not only farms but also developed the Sprayer Mate batching plant with his brother Owen.
David is a Nuffield Scholar Recipient and has studied spray application technology. In this podcast, we learn about the benefits of using a batching plant, as well as receive a few reminders on best practice for mixing herbicides.
You can download the GRDC’s factsheet on mixing herbicides here.
Take a listen
Harvest seed destroying mill technology explained
Harvest seed destroying mill technology has been the talk of the town among harvest weed seed control enthusiasts. For the podcast, we normally stick to seasonal issues, but in February, the Kondinin Group released a cracker Research Report, “Residue Management at Harvest” (you can find it here). In this report, the Research Team (comprising of Ben White, Mark Saunders, and Josh Giumelli, who are pictured above), tested and reviewed a number of harvest weed seed control tools, including mill technology, which is the focus of this podcast.
Jessica Strauss chats with agricultural engineer and Manager of Research and Development for the Kondinin Group, Ben White, about how mill technology works; the operational practicalities in the field; weed control; and mill wear issues.
We also hear from two farmers who have invested in different branded mill machines, using them in both the 2016 and 2017 harvests. Farmers Roger Newman and Andrew Todd, both from WA, give candid insights into the pros and cons of their machinery thus far.
Take a listen with your usual hosts, Peter Newman and Jessica Strauss!
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.
The importance of cleaning seed
For many growers, planting seed is just around the corner, but to ensure quality seed is going in the ground, it’s important to grade and clean it.
In this podcast, we hear from seed cleaning contractor, David Bach, who runs Toowoomba Grain and Storage. He explains the process of cleaning seed, why it’s imperative and also provides some handy tips on grain storage.
We also hear from Michael Meara who farms just south of Toowoomba in the Felton area. He shares a story about when he used a neighbour’s seed when he ran out of his own and the consequences of that decision!
You can find out further information about cleaning seed here.
Harvest Residue Topper (HRT) and Summer Weeds
We’re back for 2018! This is our first podcast of the year and we are excited to get into another year of informative and fun podcasts to ensure you have more crop and fewer weeds! Join your co-hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman to delve into Summer weed management and learn about a mechanical weed tool – the Harvest Residue Topper (HRT).
HRT developer Phil Bradley candidly discusses what lead him to build the HRT and provides a great explainer on how it works. We also hear from Bolgart farmer John Young who has been using his HRT for the last three harvests. He provides a good overview of the positives and drawbacks of using the HRT.
Forbes-based Agronomist from Baker Ag Advantage, Chris Baker, gives us a rundown on the best management practice for Summer weed control.
Take a listen!
Find out more about the HRT by clicking on the image to go to the website
Cropping and Resistance Forum Overview
In our last podcast for the year, we present an overview of the recent Cropping and Resistance ‘Riders of the Storm’ Forum which was supported by GRDC and hosted by AHRI and CCDM.
There was a great turnout for the 3rd GRDC Crop Protection Forum which was held at Bunya Campus in December.
For the past two decades, agronomic practices have dramatically improved the profitability of farming systems, however, there is a steady increase in weeds, disease and pests that threaten crop productivity.
The Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative (AHRI) partnered with the Centre for Crop & Disease Management (CCDM) to deliver key messages from their latest research.
Senior researchers from AHRI, CCDM, University of Queensland, NSWDPI and more will gave their insights into how to control weeds, pests and disease, whilst also providing practical recommendations to maintain the efficacy of current practices.
In this podcast, we hear from Northern Grower Alliance CEO Richard Daniel about managing wild oats in the North and Dr Lee Hickey about his work in developing new crop varieties using old genetics. Lee talks about Vavilov wheats, speed breeding and a root gene! We also get an insight into what agronomist Tony Lockrey from Moree, Queensland thought of the event, as well as event organiser Paul McIntosh.
Dr Lee Hickey is working on a number of projects, including ‘speed breeding’.
Summer fallow management and herbicide resistance in California
This time of year, Summer fallow management is on the radar to ensure weeds are kept at bay and don’t rob soil moisture and nitrogen from next year’s crops. Ag Grow Director and Agronomist, Barry Haskins goes over some tips for getting summer fallow management right. Podcast co-host Peter Newman also discusses the importance of considering spray drift and how to avoid it. Later on, we hear from Brad Hanson who is a researcher at UC Davis in California. Brad talks about the challenges with resistance in orchards and vineyards in California with podcast host Jessica Strauss. The perennial crop industry in California is a diverse and high-value crop sector that is highly dependent on a relatively small set of herbicides.
The challenges with glyphosate-resistant weeds in this crop sector differ considerably from those in broadacre crops and so do the opportunities. Brad Hanson discusses the current status of resistance in the approximately 1.2 million hectares of tree, vine, and other perennial crops in the Mediterranean climate of California’s Central Valley. Because of the importance of glyphosate in this crops sector, glyphosate-resistance is the most widespread challenge. However, emerging issues with resistance to glufosinate, paraquat, and the graminicides as well as changing production practices and weed control options suggest that research and education efforts remain a high priority. Take a listen!