News & Media

Going clean into seeding this season

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 22. March 2013 - 14:30

Growers are reminded to eliminate the ‘green bridge’ before they seed this season to strengthen farm biosecurity.

Grains biosecurity officer and Grain Guard coordinator Jeff Russell said since harvest, parts of the wheatbelt had received rainfall which had led to the emergence of volunteer crops and weeds.

“While it is a difficult call to judge future rainfall events, growers need to take care that the green bridge does not get out of hand,” Mr Russell said.

“There is the potential for the bridge to have an extended life leading up to seeding.”

Mr Russell said growers could have a useful ‘green pick’ for stock coming into the autumn feed gap.

“But they could also face unwanted plant material to manage at seeding,” he said.

“In some areas, grain growers have already sprayed out weeds on possibly more than one occasion already.

“Spraying may be an impost to some growers, but I am encouraging them to do what they can to reduce the burden of regrowth volunteer crops that may spread pests and diseases onto neighbouring properties.”

Mr Russell said there was a community benefit to be achieved by controlling the green bridge to keep out pests that could affect neighbours.

“It has been well documented that such volunteer crops and weeds can not only rob a grower of precious moisture for winter crops, but they also provide a breeding ground for pests and diseases,” he said.

“This is particularly important for diseases that survive on live plant matter such as rusts.”

Each year fungal and virus diseases and insects cost WA producers many thousands of dollars to control, plus lost income due to yield or quality losses.

Mr Russell said it was important for growers to clean up their property of any volunteer crop well before sowing.

“By eliminating all weeds and particularly volunteer crop from your paddocks at least a month prior to planting, you can significantly reduce the build-up of pests and diseases,” he said.

Mr Russell said St Patrick’s Day in March was a good milestone to go clean and brown.

“This should give growers an advantage over the pests and diseases for the early part of the season as they will need to come in from outside the paddock,” he said.

“The longer your paddocks are free from volunteers, the better the outcome for reducing the pest pressure.”

Mr Russell reminded growers to report anything unusual damaging a grain crop to the Department of Agriculture and Food or call the Exotic Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

For more information on grains biosecurity, visit the Plant Health Australia website.


Media contacts: Jodie Thomson, media liaison     +61 (0)8 9368 3937