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FLEABANE FIELD WEED SHOULD BE ATTACKED PRIOR TO ONSET OF WINTER


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FLEABANE WEED TO BE ERRADICATED BY CROP GROWERS BEFORE WINTER

A MULTI-pronged attack against the weed, fleabane, is being advised for southern grain growers before winter sets in.

Flaxleaf fleabane has become a major issue for farmers in southern cropping regions in recent years, and weed management authorities are encouraging farmers to take an integrated approach to tackle the problem – and they say now is the best time to do it.

They say the best form of defence against fleabane combines the use of competitive crops and pastures, grazing, herbicides, cultivation and targeting weeds at the vulnerable stages of their lifecycle.

Consultant Chris Minehan, of Rural Management Strategies, Wagga Wagga, says early detection of fleabane is important and growers should now be controlling autumn germinations.

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“Fleabane can produce in excess of 100,000 seeds per plant, allowing it to rapidly colonise bare ground,” Mr Minehan said.

“While most problematic in summer, fleabane can germinate at any time of the year given moisture and appropriate temperature.

Mr Minehan has been speaking about the problem at Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) update sessions and said even young seedlings are relatively tolerant to glyphosate herbicides.

“The evolution of cropping systems from broad scale cultivation towards chemical weed control based largely on glyphosate has provided fleabane and other surface germinating weeds with a competitive advantage.”

He said a ‘double knock’ approach with a range of primary herbicides, followed by paraquat, is one recommended component of an integrated control management program.

Growing competitive crops and pastures is another strategy, while grazing also offers benefits.

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“Grazing can be particularly useful in stubble situations where fleabane populations are low,” Mr Minehan said.

“Other weeds can be controlled cheaply and easily, leaving only the fleabane alive for stock to graze.”

Landholders are advised to also target fencelines and roadsides, as well as crops, pastures and fallow paddocks, in their bid to manage the weed

Garden Express

May 14th, 2012
Topic: WEEDS Tags: , , , ,

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