Southern NSW grain growers Di and Warwick Holding will outline their approach to weed control when they host a farm visit as part of WeedSmart Week at Wagga.
The Holdings farm 2700 hectares at Yerong Creek where they run a continuous cropping operation growing wheat, canola, lupins, field peas and faba beans on a full controlled traffic, stubble retention system.
They were early adopters of narrow windrow burning to reduce the weed seed bank, and although effective, found it time-consuming and stressful.
But after seeing chaff deck results at the inaugural WeedSmart Week event in Western Australia last year, Mr Holding came home and purchased two EMAR chaff decks to contain chaff and weed seeds to permanent tramlines.
“We’ll be showing growers our ‘weedlining’ system where the weedy tramlines can be sprayed separately using a targeted herbicide strategy, with less than 10 per cent of the paddock sprayed,” Mr Holding said.
“We’re combining a number of tactics starting with a double-knock down prior to planting, using in-crop herbicides, crop topping in the canola and pulse phase and we are following that up with chaff lining at harvest.
“Harvest weed seed control represents an opportunity to take pre-emptive action against the future interference from problematic weeds, such as annual ryegrass, wild radish, wild oats and brome grass.”
As well as adopting chaff decks, the Holdings began the transition to a disc system last year with the purchase of a 12m John Deere disc on 308mm row spacing.
“The disc seeder has allowed us to sow all our lupins and canola and some of our very early wheat into stubble, without having to burn,” Mr Holding said.
“It also minimises disturbance, because we are trying to move from minimum till back to almost zero till with the disc.”
WeedSmart is an industry initiative committed to delivering practical, researched information that promotes the use of multiple on-farm management tools to encourage more crops, less weeds and keep herbicides working for the long-term.
The three-day event in Wagga will start with a practical forum on August 21, then two days of farm visits, including to the Holding’s property on August 22, where growers and agronomists can see firsthand different approaches to weed management.
The forum will offer insights into which herbicides are still effective in the region, what growers need to do to preserve herbicide life and different tactics for beating weeds such as crop competition, narrow row spacing, crop rotation and harvest weed seed control measures.
Visit weedsmart.org.au/wagga for details.