Why some crops beat the weeds

CROP HEIGHT and vigour are important early in the season for competitive crops and subsequent weed suppression, according to new research through the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation.
Why some crops beat the weeds Why some crops beat the weeds Why some crops beat the weeds Why some crops beat the weeds Why some crops beat the weeds

David Cussons

Professor Leslie Weston and Dr William Brown from Charles Sturt University's School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences are identifying weed suppressive traits in commercial grain cultivars.

"This is the fourth year of the project and we've found that tillering characteristics, both above and below the ground, along with canopy and root architecture are also important for the crops ability to out-compete weeds," Dr Brown said.  

"These characteristics also improve the yield potential by providing greater access to moisture and nutrients."

It's hoped the findings can be used by plant breeders to incorporate these weed suppressive traits into more commercial grain cultivars.

"As more herbicide-resistant weed populations develop, it's important for growers to look at other ways of managing weeds and growing highly competitive crops is one option," Professor Weston said.

The research is a Grains Research and Development Corporation investment.

The work into genetic traits that make some varieties of wheat and barley better at out-competing weeds will be outlined at a field walk on Tuesday 12 September.

The Graham Centre's Twilight weed and crop walk will also feature research into long-term farming rotations to reduce the weed seedbank, barley grass management, weed suppression and drought tolerant legumes and pasture mixes, and herbicide tolerant faba 

The event will also provide an opportunity to view some of the demonstration trials of the Syngenta Learning Centre which has been established at the Graham Centre Field Site.

The Twilight weed and crop walk will be held from 3:15pm at the Graham Centre Field site, at the corner of Coolamon Road and Prices Road near Wagga Wagga.

For more information contact:

Dr William Brown

wilbrown@csu.edu.au

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