June 12, 2012
A new position funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) will actively link grain growers and advisers with the latest research developments in weed management.
GRDC northern panel chair, James Clark says the appointment of Dr Ian Taylor (photo), Taylored Agricultural Systems will add value to GRDC’s significant investment in weeds research, development and extension in the northern grains region.
“GRDC has joined with the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) to launch this co-funded position which is the first of its kind,” Mr Clark said.
“We could see a conduit was needed to ensure a proactive flow of information, knowledge and best practice recommendations between the researchers and advisers who will then work with growers to implement successful integrated weed management (IWM) strategies.”
Dr Taylor is based at Narrabri, NSW and has hit the ground running in delivering GRDC-supported IWM workshops in association with ICAN.
He is a former weeds scientist with the Cotton Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and completed his PhD through a GRDC-supported project on Phalaris paradoxa. He also worked with CRDC as program manager farming systems and with Monsanto in Australia and Singapore.
Dr Taylor says northern region growers need to be supported with advice and recommendations for dealing with the increasing threat of herbicide resistance which is jeopardising the minimum till farming system.
“We are challenged in the northern region by an increasing incidence of glyphosate resistance and herbicide resistance more generally,” Dr Taylor said.
“In the northern region we now have five species confirmed as resistant to glyphosate – awnless barnyard grass, annual ryegrass, liverseed grass, fleabane and windmill grass.”
He says awareness among consultants and growers is the first step but action to reduce herbicide resistance is needed.
“Growers and advisers understand herbicide resistance is an issue but farming systems in the north are based around zero till or minimum till systems with high reliance on glyphosate for fallow weed management for knockdown pre-planting.”
Dr Taylor said glyphosate offered flexibility while alternative herbicides and modes of action tended to lock growers in to specific crop rotations, which restricted options for responding to changing conditions or markets.
“Looking forward, the challenges we face with increasing glyphosate resistance means we have no option but to include other modes of action into farming systems so unfortunately this means a loss of some flexibility,” he said.
GRDC is promoting key strategies include rotating crops and chemical groups, managing the weed seed bank and monitoring weeds and herbicide effectiveness.
For more information on GRDC-supported research into weed management, visit www.grdc.com.au/weedlinks.