Crop weeds

Weeds are estimated to cost Australian agriculture more than $2.5 billion per year. Understanding weeds and the various methods to control them ultimately reduces costs and improves productivity.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development conducts research into the management of weeds and has developed integrated weed management (IWM) packages, that incorporate a number of varied weed control options, including chemical, physical and biological strategies, are vital for sustainable weed management in this state.

Weed populations that have developed herbicide resistance, where standard herbicide treatments are no longer effective, pose an increasing threat to WA's agricultural production.

Articles

  • In 2021 the Department is conducting over 300 research trials across the state from Kununurra in the north to Esperance in the south.

  • Herbicides can be applied by a variety of means including boom sprayers, aerial spraying, misters, blanket wipers, rope wick applicators, weed seekers and back-pack sprayers.

  • The term 'residual' applies to a number of herbicides that have a long lasting activity in the soil. These herbicides are often applied directly to the soil prior to planting crops, pre-emergent.

  • 'Crop-topping' is the late application of herbicides to prevent weed seed-set.

  • Spray-topping is a very effective method for managing annual grass seed set in pastures.

  • Spray-topping or pasture topping is the application of a sub-lethal rate of herbicide when grasses are coming into head and flowering.

  • In Western Australia's Mediterranean-type climate, the survival of pests and diseases over summer is often critical in determining pest outbreaks and disease epidemics in broadacre crops.

  • Roly poly, also known as prickly saltwort or tumbleweed (Salsola australis), is a native species found throughout Australia.

  • Options for control of winter broad leaved weeds, in pastures, is a common inquiry. A fairly reliable method is spray grazing.

  • The most accurate way to estimate the weed population of a paddock is to count the number of plants in an area of known size at a number of locations.

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