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Survey of weed flora and management relative to cropping practices in the north-eastern grain region of Australia



Survey of weed flora and management relative to cropping practices in the north-eastern grain region of Australia



Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 47(1): 57-70



The main weeds and weed management practices undertaken in broad acre dryland cropping areas of northeastern Australia have been identified. The information was collected in a comprehensive postal survey of both growers and agronomists from Dubbo in New South Wales ( NSW) through to Clermont in central Queensland, where 237 surveys were returned. A very diverse weed flora of 105 weeds from 91 genera was identified for the three cropping zones within the region ( central Queensland, southern Queensland and northern NSW). Twenty-three weeds were common to all cropping zones. The major common weeds were Sonchus oleraceus, Rapistrum rugosum, Echinochloa spp. and Urochloa panicoides. The main weeds were identified for both summer and winter fallows, and sorghum, wheat and chickpea crops for each of the zones, with some commonality as well as floral uniqueness recorded. More genera were recorded in the fallows than in crops, and those in summer fallows exceeded the number in winter. Across the region, weed management relied heavily on herbicides. In fallows, glyphosate and mixes with glyphosate were very common, although the importance of the glyphosate mix partner differed among the cropping zones. Use and importance of pre-emergence herbicides in-crop varied considerably among the zones. In wheat, more graminicides were used in northern NSW than in southern Queensland, and virtually none were used in central Queensland, reflecting the differences in winter grass weed flora across the region. Atrazine was the major herbicide used in sorghum, although metolachlor was also used predominantly in northern NSW. Fallow and inter-row cultivation were used more often in the southern areas of the region. Grazing of fallows was more prominent in northern NSW. High crop seeding rates were not commonly recorded indicating that growers are not using crop competition as a tool for weed management. Although many management practices were recorded overall, few growers were using integrated weed management, and herbicide resistance has been and continues to be an issue for the region.

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Accession: 012931293

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DOI: 10.1071/ea05141


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