Pathways to sustainable use of herbicides and effective long-term weed control will be explored at a flagship grains industry event in South Australia next month.
The 2020 WeedSmart Week will be held for the first time in SA at Clare, providing a unique opportunity for growers and farm advisers to hear from experts at the forefront of Australian weed management and herbicide resistance research, and to see best practice weed management in action on-farm.
The three-day event will begin with a one-day forum at Clare Golf Club on Tuesday, September 1. The following two days will involve tours to farms in the Lower and Mid North and northern Yorke Peninsula regions to see how forward-thinking growers are implementing tactics to minimise the impact of herbicide resistance on their businesses.
The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is supporting this event as the principal WeedSmart investor. The event will be co-hosted by Pinion Advisory, YP AG and the Hart Field Site Group.
The WeedSmart Week theme is ‘diversify and disrupt – use the Big 6 to beat crop weeds’. The Big 6 tactics are: 1. rotate crops and pastures; 2. double knock – to preserve glyphosate; 3. mix and rotate herbicides; 4. stop weed seed set; 5. crop competition; and 6. harvest weed seed control.
Lisa Mayer, who leads the WeedSmart program from her base at The University of Western Australia, says the event in Clare will give growers and agronomists access to practical research and exposure to tactics that effectively control crop weeds and minimise the evolution of herbicide resistance.
“Weeds have gained the upper hand on some farms and have too much influence over farming system decisions,” Ms Mayer says.
“The herbicide and non-herbicide tactics that form the WeedSmart Big 6 have been researched and demonstrated in the field – we know they work. Growers and agronomists in each region and on each farm can adapt the Big 6 principles to bring more diversity to their farming system and bamboozle weeds.”
GRDC Manager Weeds, Jason Emms, says WeedSmart Week will underline the importance of effective management of weeds and efforts to arrest herbicide resistance.
“Grain growers incur enormous costs associated with weeds – $146/hectare on average per year – in terms of control measures and lost yield,” Dr Emms says.
“With herbicide resistance placing pressure on the effectiveness and longevity of limited available chemistries, as an industry we can’t afford to take the foot off the pedal.
“It is imperative we use available tools to combat costly weeds and herbicide resistance as we continue to invest in research and development to provide growers with enhanced management options.”
Dr Emms says WeedSmart Week offers a unique opportunity for growers and advisers to hear about the latest research from local, interstate and international experts (some via virtual platforms) and to then see first-hand how that knowledge translates into impact on-farm.
Guillaume Jourdain, the co-founder and chief executive officer of French technology start-up company Bilberry, will be among the presenters. He will discuss the future of precision weed control in a virtual presentation and be on Zoom to answer questions.
WeedSmart is committed to providing participants with a COVID-safe event, which means numbers will be restricted. Ticket sales will close on August 26, unless sold out prior to then.