2016’s abundance of late spring rain set an ideal base for some very well fuelled summer weeds. One of the most prolific being Lincoln weed (Diplotaxus tenuifolia) which is wide spread across much of South Australia’s upper Eyre Peninsular, York Peninsular, Upper North and the Murray Mallee. Lincoln weed is an erect bunching herb style plant that invades lower rainfall grassing country and cropping lands. The plant produces cylinder type pods that each contain between 50 to 80 seeds and is a declared pest weed.
Being that the weed has a presence in some generally lower production areas, lower cost chemical control methods have been very important for growers to try to eliminate the spread of the problem. These applications have included Glyphosate, Paraquat, and combinations of phenoxy herbicides. Recent discussions held between Imtrade staff and growers have raised concerns that in attempts to keep costs down, lower chemical rates and poor application timing (applications that are unfortunately followed by significant rain evens) are not proving to be overly effective the past few seasons and a great deal of plants survived treatments and went on to spread seed.
In an attempt to identify some improvement in control, John Barbetti of Imtrade and Christian Faulkner of WCT hosted a number of chemical application trial sites in the areas of Elliston and Streaky Bay on the far west coast of the South Australian Eyre Peninsular. These sites gave growers a first-hand look at several products that Imtrade has in development that may assist in the control of summer weeds.
The products consist of a range of custom formulations of existing group M and group I herbicides that incorporated newly customised surfactants to assist treatment uptake. These formulations are ideally aimed at providing product in its most suitable form for improved stability and performance, while keeping cost down and allowing simple and time effective application processes for growers. The results proved very promising and future development could see these mixes offering some very favourable options. The blends stood up to the application conditions very well and initial data in several applications showed very good results in the tough control conditions that the site and season offered.
“Although the trials did not unlock any great ground-breaking results, the process certainly aided in growing the knowledge bank of all who attended. The formulations in the trial certainly held good potential for future investigations. Further to the products in these treatments, the combination of growers working with us on projects like this has raised a number of addition ideas. We will repeat the most effective parts of this work in late 2017 and also incorporate several other actives that we have identified. The aim will be to continue to collect and build a data base of information that we can utilise in finding a solution to this ongoing problem.” John Barbetti Imtrade Australia.