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Crop competition and optical spraying in the North
Join your hosts, Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman, as they discuss crop competition and optical spraying in the Northern region. Gulargambone Farmer Chris Roche talks about crop competition in his farming system and Agronomist Rob Long discusses optical spraying options in the Northern Region. Both Chris and Rob will be speaking at the WeedSmart Week Forum in Narrabri on August 20th. Get your tickets to WeedSmart Week here.
WeedSmart Week is coming to the Northern Region!
As a whole, the northern grains region has had a very tough start to the 2018 winter cropping season. With a few showers around there are hopes of some reprieve from a long, dry spell. Unfortunately, weeds will most likely be the first to respond to rainfall and growers will need to make some difficult decisions surrounding their cropping program, pre-emergent herbicide applications and maximising the competitiveness of any crops that get established. In this podcast, we hear from grower Brad Jackson and agronomist Peter McKenzie about why attending WeedSmart Week is a valuable investment of your time. WeedSmart Week, aimed specifically at growers and agronomists, will kick off in Narrabri with the Forum Day on 20 August, followed by two days of farm visits in the region. Three growers from the region who attended the 2017 WeedSmart Week in Wagga Wagga will be making presentations over the three days, outlining ways they have tackled herbicide resistance head-on. Grower, Brad Jackson, will present at WeedSmart Week. One of those growers is Brad Jackson, who farms with his father Peter and brothers Phil and Matt at Gurley where they usually have a robust winter cropping program featuring wheat, barley, chickpea, canola and linseed. Following 2017 WeedSmart Week they’ve reintroduced the use of pre-emergent herbicides to their herbicide program and are taking every opportunity to mix and rotate herbicide modes of action. The Jackson’s WeedIT optical sprayer has revolutionised their herbicide program, allowing them to spray low weed density paddocks more frequently and target small, fresh seedlings. Brad and Phil are also developing valuable weed management tactics, such as camera-guided inter-row cultivator and green manuring, that can be employed in an organic farming system at Westmar. WeedSmart Week attendees will have several opportunities to see and discuss cutting-edge technologies such as optical sprayers, autonomous tractors and emerging ‘green-on-green’ spray sensors. The growers, agronomists and researchers who will speak and participate in expert panels at the Day 1 forum will spark important discussions about herbicide resistance and how the Big 6 tactics can be used to target the weed species and farming systems in the northern cropping region. There’s one thing for sure – doing nothing is not an option. Register for this important 3-day event for the single ticket price of $95 here.
Syngenta Growth Awards study tour to the UK and Switzerland
This week we’re catching up with two of the 2017 Syngenta Growth Awards winners. We were very proud that our Extension Agronomist Kirrily Condon nabbed the Adviser award in the Sustainability category. For Junee-based Kirrily, the goal is always the same. If she can provide advice that is making farming more profitable as well as sustainable, then she’s set out what she aimed to achieve. AHRI and WeedSmart Extension Agronomist Kirrily Condon We also caught up with Duncan Young who farms out of Beverley in Western Australia with JT Young and Sons. He received the Grower award in the Sustainability category. Duncan has always been passionate about agriculture and practices sustainable farming. He’s put a self-imposed ban on some chemicals in certain places next to a river, he uses technology like knife rollers over his paddocks instead of burning stubble and he has established a significant buffer on his property of up to 100m along the nearby Avon River. Grower Duncan Young who won the Syngenta Grower Sustainability Award in 2017 Each year, Syngenta profiles growers and farm advisers from different regions across Australia and New Zealand, showcasing their contribution in one of the following categories: Productivity: Recognises growers and advisers who use best practice in achieving consistent productivity gains. Sustainability: Recognises growers and advisers who are committed to addressing industry issues to create a sustainable and profitable future. Community & People: Recognises growers and advisers who make a leading contribution to their community, workers and fellow growers. Nominations for the Growth Awards are invite-only and 25 regional winners are chosen from the pool of nominees and announced in October each year. The regional winners attended The Growth Awards dinner last November and recently went on their study tour to the UK and Switzerland. The winners are chosen by an independent panel comprised of industry representatives and stakeholders. Join your host Jessica Strauss and guest co-host Greg Condon to find out about Kirrily and Duncan’s approaches to agriculture and what they learned on their study tour.
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: Seed rate Row spacing Orientation (north-south vs. east-west) Crop variety/species Soil health 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!
Blackgrass control in the UK and the pros and cons of paired rows
We have two diverse topics for this week’s podcast. Firstly we’ll hear from Peter Aikman (pictured above), who is a Mallee grain grower. He will share his experience on using the Rootboot for his paired rows, revealing the positive impacts and some of the negatives too. We also hear from Nuffield Scholar recipient Richard Hinchliffe. Richard is a grower and agronomist based in Yorkshire in the UK. By using a variety of diverse tactics, he’s had a major win with controlling the very problematic weed blackgrass on his farming property. You’re joined once again by your two co-hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman. Richard Hinchliffe on his farming property in Yorkshire, UK Richard Hinchliffe hand roguing blackgrass from his farming property in Yorkshire, UK
Herbicide degradation in dry soil and volunteer and ratoon cotton control
With dry conditions in many parts of the country, we catch up with WANTFA Executive Director Dr David Minkey to find out if herbicides do in fact degrade in dry soil over time. We also chat with Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Principal Scientist Paul Grundy (pictured) about controlling volunteer and ratoon cotton. Join your co-hosts Jessica Strauss and Peter Newman to learn more! Music: bensound.com
Getting dry seeding right
With many parts of the country facing little to no Autumn rainfall events so far, many growers are dry seeding. ConsultAg Agronomist Geoff ‘Fos’ Fosbery joins us in this podcast and provides some great tips on ensuring you get dry seeding right, including tips on herbicide application, such as trifluralin. We also hear from WA Farmer Kit Leake, who has been dry seeding for many seasons. He shares his insights and explains how he plans out his program well in advance. Music: bensound.com
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 Music: bensound.com
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