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Leading weed expert says integrated weed management crucial

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article image Dr Chris Preston, SFS communications and events manager Sheshi Rogers-Tritton and canola business manager Justin Kudnig
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One of Australia’s leading weed experts advises farmers to focus on integrated weed management (IWM) to tackle the increasing incidence of herbicide resistance. 

University of Adelaide associate professor in weed management, Dr Chris Preston issued the message last week at the Southern Farming Systems AgriFocus field days, the last stop on his tour of the western districts of Victoria. He said integrated weed management on canola paddocks in Victoria and South Australia has become a critical necessity. He also wanted focus to be shifted to IWM across all crop groups in Victoria and South Australia to tackle the problems of resistant populations of ryegrass and mustard in particular.

Dr Preston said farmers should use all herbicide technologies at their disposal to best manage the problem, including Triazine Tolerant, Roundup Ready, Clearfield and Roundup-Triazine (‘RT’). 

Triazine-Tolerant canola still covers approximately 50 to 60 percent of Australia’s crop and provides a great tool for growers. It will become even more important in some areas where Clearfield technology is grown due to the increase of Group B resistance in some districts.

Roundup Ready canola has a great fit for those growers looking for enhanced yields and knockdown control of a wide range of weed species during the crop’s growth, with Western Australia rapidly adopting the RR technology due to its proven adaptability, but there is a lack of residual control of weeds.

According to Dr Preston, Clearfield technology has had a good place in rotations but has a limited life for many key weeds due to the onset of resistance. Clearfield will become a somewhat smaller part within canola crops due to the over-reliance of Group B chemistries in a number of other popular crops grown in winter cropping rotations.

Given the serious Clethodim resistance, he sees RT canola as being one of the tools that is going to help farmers in the next few years.

Gold sponsor of SFS, Pacific Seeds has been working with Monsanto on this world-first RT canola, a dual-herbicide tolerant hybrid canola, which has incorporated Roundup Ready tolerance into Triazine Tolerant hybrids.

Pacific Seeds canola business manager Justin Kudnig said the company intends to release the innovative dual herbicide tolerant technology RT canola hybrid in 2014. 

Commercially named Hyola 525RT, this very high yielding TT hybrid with built in Roundup Ready tolerance provides growers with an extremely valuable tool for integrated weed control management systems using either herbicide option on the same variety within winter cropping rotations. 

Mr Kudnig adds Pacific Seeds’ dual tolerant RT canola hybrids will provide growers with high yields, high oil, high blackleg resistance and increased overall profitability combined with excellent weed control and a more convenient reliable IWM tool.

SFS AgriFocus is an annual event held over two days; this year the event attracted about 350 farmers, agronomists and industry participants to the new Westmere trial site.

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