Weed control crucial to bottom line
Story Added : 09th June 2011
A new report by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) shows the harmful effect summer weeds have on farm viability in southern Australian cropping regions.
According to BCG research agronomist, Harm van Rees, this is because they use water and nutrients that could otherwise be used by cereal crops.
Mr Rees said that wheat crops planted in Mallee paddocks where summer weeds were left uncontrolled averaged 2.8t/ha, compared with 3.8t/ha in paddocks where summer weeds had been treated.
“This research project found that weeds such as heliotrope at high density used 50mm of stored soil water that would otherwise have been available to the following crop,” he said.
The report also estimated that the return on investment of conducting weed control – calculated from the cost of herbicide and its application compared to the return in extra grain yield – is between one in five and one in nine depending on the price of wheat.
“This clearly demonstrates the importance of early and effective summer weed control,” Mr Rees said.