View time: 13.27 minutes

Rod Birch on how the Big 6 is keeping weeds at bay at Catalina Farms

We recently caught up with Rod and Daniel Birch from Catalina Farms, just east of Coorow in WA’s wheatbelt. Rod gave an overview of what Big 6 principles are working for them and he also explained how they’re approaching weed control at new property acquisition, ‘Koobabbie’, which until last year, hadn’t changed hands for 115 years.

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.

Video breakdown

  • 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!”.

 

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153: Grazing resistant ryegrass key to weed control success for Scholz family

On this edition of the podcast, we’re focusing on controlling herbicide resistant ryegrass.
We’ll hear from grower Murray Scholz (pictured above), who is based in Culcairn, NSW. Murray and wife Emma are having a real win with grazing to keep ryegrass at bay.
We’ll also be hearing from University of Adelaide’s Dr Peter Boutsalis. Peter will provide an update on clethodim resistance and share some practical tips on how to keep on top of ryegrass.
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GRDC Adjuvant Guide (Peter Boutsalis recommended on the podcast)
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Article: Chaff carts were made for feeding livestock
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Video: Rod Birch on how the Big 6 is keeping weeds at bay at Catalina Farms
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Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date and don’t forget to sign up to our monthly newsletter, the WeedSmart Whip Around.

Video
Video

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.

Video breakdown

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!”.

 

Video
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WeedSmart Week Forum Day Videos

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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
Farmer Experience
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

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We also hear from Cotton Australia Chair, Hamish McIntyre. He explains why the Round-Up Ready Xtend Crop System from Bayer is so important for cotton growers. Hamish also provides some context around why ensuring the stewardship of this product is so essential.
News & Links
We’ve got a new article on kicking the herbicide habit. We look at how random weed surveys are continuing to identify an increasing trend in herbicide resistance across broadacre cropping regions in Australia. Dr Peter Boutsalis & Dr John Broster provide comment here.
WeedSmart Week 
Just a reminder that tickets are now able to be purchased for Esperance WeedSmart Week. The early bird price of $190 ends on July 31 and then goes up to $250 after this, so if you’re planning on going, get your tickets sooner rather than later for a discount!
You can get your tickets here.
Twitter and Facebook
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We post seasonally relevant information on weed control & promote good discussion.
You can also sign-up for our monthly blog, the WeedSmart Whip Around. Our content from the last month is featured, so it’s easy to get to all the latest news in one spot.

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Ryegrass management in the High Rainfall Zone – What have we learnt?

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WeedSmart Shorts: What considerations should be made for glyphosate tolerant canola?

 
Jump to a section

Simon’s client experience with RR Canola and decision-making process 00:27
What’s the decision-making process when it comes to growing a glyphosate tolerant variety over conventional/TT canola? 01:36
Herbicide strategy & resistance testing: 02:44
Timing of glyphosate sprays 05:02
Varietal performance 07:06
Broadleaf weeds 09:33
Dealing with survivors, WeedSmart Big 6 11:12
Desiccation & windrowing 13:48
GM canola marketing 14:46
On-farm storage 15:14

In this new segment, WeedSmart Shorts, our expert agronomists around the country interview experts on topics in a ‘Question and Answer’ video format.
Simon was kind enough to be our first guest and Jana covers lots of important points with him throughout the interview. Above, you can find what questions are covered if you’d like to jump to one of the specific topics highlighted.
Simon says there has been uptake by his clients of glyphosate tolerant canola in South Australia, but there has been a varied response.

“We are finding that some are wanting to try a paddock, some are wanting to sit back and see how it goes. So, it is probably very similar to what happened in Victoria when it rolled out there as an option,” he says.
South Australian farmers in the past have been able to control the weeds with the existing canola options they have, says Simon, but what they are finding now is there is an increase in clethodim resistance, particularly at higher rates and so that is what is likely to be driving the decision-making process around what other canola options are available, such as RR canola.
While it is exciting to have another option for SA growers, Simon says it is critical that growers know their ryegrass resistance status before committing to planting glyphosate tolerant canola.
“Testing is the backbone behind the decision making around canola options and so once we’re aware of what herbicides still work effectively, that’s where we’re able to make a good, informed decision.”
Simon said it was important to know what works on ryegrass across the whole spectrum of herbicide groups.
“An example is, I did some testing for a new client recently and one of his populations came back as 80% resistant to glyphosate. Now, had we not done that test and put glyphosate resistant canola into that paddock, we would’ve been facing a disaster, but because we had that information on hand, we knew what our options were and what they weren’t,” Simon says.
 
 

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