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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
Group G tips, lucerne as a fence line weed control tool & N placement effect on weed growth
WeedSmart Southern Extension Agronomist, Chris Davey has great practical tips on Group Gs today.
AHRI’s Dr Mike Ashworth covers the GRDC invested research he’s been leading in the Agronomy space, with some practical information on post-emergent UAN placement recommendations.
And finally, the problem of fence line weeds isn’t going away, so in the spirit of the WeedSmart Big 6, our Northern Extension Agronomist Paul McIntosh has a novel solution to plant lucerne to compete with weeds in non-cropped areas.
Mark Congreve Webinar on Group Gs
Chris Preston Webinar on Group Gs
Our next Regional Update will come out next Monday and we’ll be hearing Nutrien Agronomist James Challis from the Southern Region.
If you haven’t listened to our latest update yet, we caught up with Tim Bartimote from NSW Local Land Services who talked about a GRDC invested projected on chaff decks.
Ask an Expert
This month Mark Congreve joins us to answer the questions “What impact does dry seeding have on pre-emergent herbicide efficacy?” Check it out here.
In this edition we look at research from scientists from the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia. They’ve recently published the results from long-term studies measuring the impact of ameliorating soil acidity on the growth of annual ryegrass in wheat.
The key finding was that applying and incorporating lime is the best way to increase the pH of acidic soils, but it usually takes several years before a surface lime application has a measurable effect on soil pH at depth.
Incorporation is the best way to speed up the process and also releases other soil nutrients to boost crop growth. I’ll link this article in the podcast notes!
Check it out here.
Benefits of continuous spraying when weeds are small and Terrad’or explainer
Back in February and March of 2020 Tim had some summer rain and decided to look at the weeds not the temperature. If the weeds weren’t moisture stressed he kept spraying all day even when it was hot. He had some great results which we’ll get into in this podcast.
We’ll also be hearing from Nufarm’s André Sabeeney and Mitch Allen about their new product Terrad’or.
Terrad’or is a new Group G herbicide from Nufarm. This product is best partnered with glyphosate as a knockdown spike or mixed with paraquat for double knock application.
Spray Application Manual
The GRDC has published an excellent spraying manual you can access.
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.
The manual includes information on sprayer set-up, including self-propelled sprayers, new tools for determining sprayer outputs, suggestions for assessing spray coverage in the field, improving droplet capture by the target, drift-reducing equipment and techniques, the effects of adjuvant and nozzle type on drift potential, and surface temperature inversion research.
Get the details here.
Our next Regional Update will come out next Monday and is with Research Officer Catherine Borger from the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia.
You can ensure you don’t miss it by subscribing to the podcast on your app of choice.
Our latest Ask an Expert is “How can I maximise grass weed control using hybrid canola?”
EPAG Research agronomist, Andrew Ware answers the question and says the results of six years of trial work across the southern growing region with GRDC investment has demonstrated how important crop nutrition and time of sowing are for maximising canola vigour and yield.
Read it here.
Also, don’t miss our latest Case Study on Single family, Coonamble NSW. Tony and Sharon Single farm with Tony’s parents John and Mary, south east of Coonamble in northern NSW with views of the Warrumbungle Range.
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 it here.