Weeds were the word at WeedSmart Week

Grain Central September 26, 2019

The WeedSmart national team together at Horsham: Greg Condon (AHRI southern agronomist), Cindy Benjamin (WeedSmart content producer), Peter Newman (AHRI western agronomist), Jessica Strauss (AHRI communications lead), Kirrily Condon (AHRI southern agronomist) and Lisa Mayer (AHRI program manager).

WEEDSMART Week has wrapped up with this year’s forums and farm visits being divided into two successful events – one in Emerald, Queensland, and another in Horsham, Victoria.

The week is a highlight of the WeedSmart extension program that brings together growers, agronomists, researchers and agribusiness to learn and share experiences of tackling herbicide resistance in weeds.

At this year’s events there were some other firsts, including trade displays and machinery and technology demonstrations.

Program manager, Lisa Mayer, said the positive feedback had been overwhelming, with participants strongly backing the three-day format of the event.

“The whole WeedSmart program is centred on getting practical messages about integrated weed management out to growers,” she said.

“We have developed the ‘WeedSmart Big 6’ approach to controlling herbicide resistance, which is known to cost Australian grain growers an estimated $187 million in additional herbicide treatment costs, on top of the costs of extra integrated weed management practices.

“Recognising the important differences in how these ‘Big 6’ tactics are applied in Northern and Southern region farming systems, we have launched region-specific recommendations for growers and agronomists to use as the foundation blocks for their individual weed management program to gain and keep the upper hand on weed numbers.”

At the Emerald WeedSmart Week event the limelight shone on emerging technologies such as strategic tillage weed removal, the SwarmFarm robotic platform and the weed detection and spraying systems being developed by Bilberry, Autoweed, InFarm, Agrifac and WeedIT for in-crop and fallow weed management.

AHRI northern agronomist Paul McIntosh and CQ farmer Don Sampson with a blade plough that cuts weeds off at the roots without inverting the soil, maintaining soil moisture in conservation farming systems.

Harvest weed seed control was the focus of the machinery and technology demonstrations at Horsham with growers having the opportunity to look at the latest developments in the Seed Terminator and vertical iHSD impact mills and Emar chaff decks.

Primary Sales also provided unprecedented access to Martin Reichelt, an international harvester expert who challenged delegates to rethink some of their harvesting strategies and settings to maximise the efficacy of harvest weed seed control while also minimising grain losses.

The bus tours continue to be an immensely valuable and enjoyable component of the WeedSmart Week events with leading growers sharing their successes and their learnings as they have pieced together a weed control program that suits their farm and their way of working.

Already plans are in place for the 2020 event in South Australia.

AMPS consulting agronomist Tony Lockrey, Moree, NSW, QDAF extension officer, Rod Collins, Biloela, Qld, and cotton and grain grower, John Cameron, Bongeen, Qld.

WeedSmart program manager Lisa Mayer with GRDC manager weeds, Dr Jason Emms, at the SwarmFarm Robotics base at Gindi, south of Emerald in Central Queensland.

Source: WeedSmart,




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