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Crop Protection Under the Spotlight

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Crop safety, weed control, spray application technology and water use efficiency will be key themes at a series of industry field days being held in the West Australian wheat belt next month. Producers will be able to discuss application technology issues and inspect the progress of numerous crop protection trials. 

The field days are being conducted by a number of grower groups in association with industry suppliers, including leading crop protection company, Syngenta. 

Syngenta is a global leader in the discovery, development and commercialisation of crop protection products that help to improve the productivity and sustainability of Australian farmers. 

The performance of Syngenta’s new pre-emergent herbicide, Boxer Gold, will be a key feature of the Western Australian No-Till Farmers Association Spring Field Day, to be held at Meckering. 

The new herbicide is registered for the control of Annual Ryegrass and Toad Rush in wheat and barley. As a Group J/K herbicide, it provides a much-needed alternative mode of action and greater incorporation flexibility than other pre-emergent herbicides

A trial at the Meckering site is examining the crop safety of Boxer Gold in barley, when applied alone or used in a tank mixture with other pre-emergent herbicides, including metribuzin and diuron. 

The trial, situated on a sandy soil type, is one of several examining the tolerance of wheat and barley to various pre-emergent herbicide mixtures targeting the control of key grass and broadleaf weeds. Another trial is examining the performance of the post-emergent, selective herbicide, Axial, when applied at various growth stages to wild oats. 

“We're evaluating the use of Axial beyond the end of tillering out to booting and early head emergence in wild oats to determine the effectiveness of this herbicide when applied in a selective crop-topping use pattern,” Syngenta technical services lead, Craig Ruchs, said. 

“We’re also confirming the effectiveness of Reglone for seed set reduction in annual ryegrass when applied at various growth stage timings in canola.” 

Syngenta and spray nozzle manufacturer, TeeJet, will conduct spray application training sessions at the Liebe Group Spring Field Day at Marchagee and the Mingenew Irwin Group Spring Field Day at Mingenew. 

“We’ll be looking at practical tips to maximise the effectiveness of spray application, such as the effects of boom height, nozzle selection, operating pressures, water rates and some general principles of spray nozzle selection and product application,” Mr Ruchs said.

The Mingenew field day will feature a trial aimed at maximising water use efficiency, early vigour and root development in wheat. The trial includes an evaluation of Dividend and other cereal seed treatments, as well as a demonstration of a Hege seed treater. 

The Facey Group Spring Field Day, to be held at Yealering, will investigate the performance of a number of herbicides, cereal foliar fungicides and further trials on products aimed at maximising water use efficiency.

“Axial and several other selective herbicides have been applied at the label rate and two and four times the label rate in wheat to demonstrate the relative crop safety of current Group A herbicide options,” Mr Ruchs said.

Syngenta’s local WA team will be present at each of the four field days and growers are invited to stop and discuss any crop protection issues they may have with the company’s staff. 

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