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27 January, 2022

Early intervention is key to summer weed management

With glyphosate prices on the rise and weeds of all kinds expected to be an issue after rainfall events, local grain growers should consider a summer weed management strategy as a matter of priority.

Weeds are expected to be an issue after rainfall events so growers are encouraged to start implementing a summer weed management strategy. - Photo, GRDC

Weeds present one of the biggest costs to growers, so investing in proactive management can help maintain profitability and preserve soil moisture for the 2022 winter cropping season.

ICAN Senior Consultant, Mark Congreve said spraying weeds when they’re young is the most effective way to control them and the best way to ensure growers get the maximum value from their herbicides.

Mr Congreve said with high populations of weeds and rising glyphosate prices, growers should be implementing targeted strategies to get the best results.

Alongside early identification of weed types, another tip for combatting established weeds is to apply glyphosate straight under optimal conditions.

“Growers should try to avoid mixing glyphosate where possible, as other herbicides can often hinder its performance,” Mr Congreve said.

“In particular, mixes with Group 4 (I) herbicides such as 2,4-D and fluroxypyr can be antagonistic for control of glyphosate resistant grasses and broadleaf weeds, such as, sow thistle, under summer application conditions.”

“Group 14 (G) herbicides may also reduce glyphosate performance when mixed and applied under high light intensity conditions.”

Adding mixing partners to glyphosate can be effective when weeds are small and glyphosate susceptible, but Mr Congreve said negative interactions are more likely to occur when dealing with resistant weeds.

Mr Congreve said if growers are unable to apply herbicide under optimal conditions, they’ll need to increase glyphosate rates to compensate.

“This isn’t something growers would want to hear considering high prices but getting a great result the first time could save additional sprays throughout the season.”

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