Weed resistance tests available

Weed resistance tests available

Cropping
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HERBICIDE resistance tests are available for graingrowers in SA, Vic and Tas who detect weeds that have survived herbicide applications.

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FORETHOUGHT: Research scientist Peter Boutsalis says screening of weeds could help prevent the costly use of ineffective herbicides and reduce the spread of herbicide resistance. Photo: GRDC

FORETHOUGHT: Research scientist Peter Boutsalis says screening of weeds could help prevent the costly use of ineffective herbicides and reduce the spread of herbicide resistance. Photo: GRDC

HERBICIDE resistance tests are available for graingrowers in SA, Vic and Tas who detect weeds that have survived herbicide applications.

Research scientist Peter Boutsalis says screening of weeds during the winter crop growing season to determine their resistance status provides growers with valuable information on the effectiveness of herbicides on target weeds, potentially preventing the costly use of ineffective herbicides and reducing the spread of herbicide resistance.

A 'Quick Test' can assist growers in understanding the extent of resistance on their properties.

"The Quick Test works on plants from seedlings to advanced tillering, as long as the plants are green and healthy," Dr Boutsalis said.

"The test usually takes about four weeks to complete, provided the weeds received are in good condition."

Dr Boutsalis, of the University of Adelaide and Plant Science Consulting, says it is important to provide accurate details about the location from which weeds were collected for sampling during registration for the test.

"Growers should collect 50 to 100 plants per paddock, aiming to collect 20 plants per herbicide test - fewer plants are needed if they are tillering," he said.

"After carefully pulling out plants, soil should be shaken from the roots and it is also critical that growers do not wash or wet plants.

"They should be placed in a small plastic sandwich bag or wrapped in cling wrap."

Information about the Quick Test service, including a video on how to prepare and send samples for testing, is available on the Plant Science Consulting website at bit.ly/2Wh2X5v.

Herbicide resistance is a priority issue for southern region grain growers, as identified by the GRDC Southern Region Panel and the GRDC Southern Regional Cropping Solutions Network.

Annual resistance surveys conducted by Dr Boutsalis and his colleagues through a GRDC research investment have shown concerning levels of herbicide resistance in some weed species in many parts of the southern cropping region.

"The surveys provide resistance status information on a regional basis, informing growers' integrated weed management strategies," Dr Boutsalis said.

"In-season testing of weeds that growers suspect are resistant adds another layer of knowledge to support growers in combating the spread of resistance and extending of the longevity of existing chemistries, and the employment of effective chemical and non-chemical weed control tactics."

  • Details: grdc.com.au/IWMhub or weedsmart.org.au
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