RIVERINA and Central West farmers are being invited to send feathertop Rhodes grass seeds to the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) for free herbicide-resistance testing as researchers strengthen strategies to manage the weed.
NSW DPI principal research scientist Hanwen Wu said resistance to glyphosate and Group 1 (previously A) herbicides has been identified in plants from northern NSW and southern Queensland.
“Samples from cropping paddocks only are needed, ideally 30 mature seed heads with tiny black seeds from 10 different plants in each paddock,” Dr Wu said.
“We know glyphosate control of feathertop Rhodes grass has been variable in southern NSW, and Group 1 herbicides are prone to developing resistance.
“With feathertop Rhodes grass continuing to spread south, where it devalues pasture and reduces productivity, this survey will allow us to benchmark herbicide resistance in southern NSW to help growers better manage this invasive weed.”
Test results will be sent directly to farmers and will help inform a joint Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and NSW DPI research project, led by Dr Wu, which is investigating management tactics best suited to southern NSW.
Farmers are asked to place seed heads in an envelope labelled with the date of collection, their name, mobile phone number, nearest town and GPS location if available.
Samples can be posted to:
Feathertop Rhodes grass
NSW Department of Primary Industries
Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute
PMB Pine Gully Road
Wagga Wagga NSW 2650
Source: NSW DPI