Researchers' advice to start the new year weed free

START THE YEAR FRESH: CSU Professor Leslie Weston is encouraging farmers to get on top of weed management in fallow paddocks. Picture: Contributed
START THE YEAR FRESH: CSU Professor Leslie Weston is encouraging farmers to get on top of weed management in fallow paddocks. Picture: Contributed

The recent rains brought relief to many, including pesky weeds.

Summer weeds are flourishing in the Riverina’s fallow paddocks and experts say farmers should start the new year on the front foot. 

“They cost producers considerable amounts of money in control, reduce soil moisture and impact on livestock health,” Graham Centre researcher Professor Leslie Weston said.

Dr William Brown said summer rain allows warm season weedy species to spread. 

“Fleabane, panic grasses including hairy panic and witchgrass, windmill grass, wild melons and feathertop Rhodes grass are important summer fallow weeds encountered across southern Australia,” he said. 

“Some summer weeds are either tolerant or even resistant to the use of systemic herbicides such as glyphosate and contact herbicides such as diquat or paraquat so careful management coupled with correct identification is important to limiting the spread of these summer weeds.”

The researchers said reducing the seed bank now will lessen the weed burden in coming years.

“A combination of integrated weed management practices and timely chemical control strategies will result in reductions of summer fallow weeds and also reduce inputs into the weed seed bank over time,” Professor Weston said.

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