MANAGING herbicide resistance is one of the most critical tasks within the cropping rotation for farmers and advisors, especially in low rainfall zones where rotational options are not as diverse.
Making best use of both new and existing chemistry is critical for growers to minimise the risk of costly resistance in problem weeds.
With this in mind an event is being held in the northern Mallee in Victoria for growers across the Mallee regions of South Australia, Victoria and NSW to try and preserve older herbicides and keep as much chemical diversity in their rotations as possible.
Ed Nixon, general manager of agronomy business AGRIvision Consultants, which has branches across the Mallee, said the WeedSmart Week event would feature a forum in Mildura followed by crop walks at Boundary Bend, between Robinvale and Swan Hill and Ouyen.
"WeedSmart Week is a great opportunity for growers and agronomists to broaden their weed management knowledge and skills," Mr Nixon said.
Along with the forum and the farm tours there will also be a machinery expo where growers can see the latest in spray and camera technology, impact mills and other mechanical weed control tools.
Mr Nixon said sharing information played a critical role in managing ever-evolving weed challenges.
"In the Mallee grain growers are coming up against new weed challenges as our farming systems and control methods select for different weeds and resistance to herbicides," he said.
"We know that the routine use of any herbicide mode of action inevitably leads to resistance and that diversity in both herbicide and non-herbicide tactics is the best way to manage weeds."
As part of combatting weeds effectively leading herbicide resistance expert Peter Boutsalis, Plant Science Consulting, will present recent studies and surveys regarding the latest information on herbicide resistance in the area.
Mr Nixon said keeping herbicides viable was a good means of keeping a lid on rising crop input costs.
He said being able to keep old chemistry in the mix was an important component of maintaining cost-effective solutions, while also maintaining an eye on the potential advantages of new products.
A number of growers will speak on how they manage herbicide resistance within their cropping enterprise.
One grower to speak will be Bec Marshall, Normanville, near Kerang in the Victorian Mallee.
Ms Marshall has a diverse rotation including wheat, barley, oaten and vetch hay, lentils, canola and irrigated faba beans.
She will talk about some of the effective tactics to stop weed resistance to herbicides on her farm, such as haymaking, double knocking and crop-topping to stop weed seed set.
Wade Nickolls, Pinnaroo, will talk about his weed management strategy over the 8000ha family farm.
The Nickolls family takes an 'everything - including the kitchen sink' that prioritises driving weed seed numbers down.
Their strategy includes methods such as using impact mills for harvest weed seed control, diverse herbicide use, legume break crops, deep ripping, variable rate technology and hay making, all with the plan to keep weed numbers low.