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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

  • Lesser broomrape is the species Orobanche minor. It is an increasingly common weed of pasture and occasionally oat and hay crops. It is also a common garden weed.

  • Windmill grass (Chloris truncata) is a native species and is the tenth most common summer weed species in the Western Australian wheatbelt.

  • Annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) is one of the most serious and costly weeds of annual winter cropping systems in southern Australia.

  • Brome grasses (Bromus spp.) are highly competitive weeds, most problematic in wheat crops.

  • Herbicides play a vital role in integrated weed management programs.

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