Developing an alternative herbicide management strategy to replace PSII herbicides in the Wet Tropics area
Final report project;
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Alternative weed management strategies to better control weeds in the Wet tropics without relying on diuron are presented in this report. Seven field trials comparing the efficacy of alternative pre-emergent herbicides to diuron applied to trash blanketed ratoons showed that Bobcat� i-MAXX efficacy was similar to Barrage at 4kg ha-1. Balance�, Flame� and Barrage at 900 g ha-1 often required a mixing partner to enlarge their efficacy spectrum to control the different weed species present in the block and to extend their efficacy duration. Two field trials comparing the efficacy of pre-emergent herbicides in plant cane showed that most cost effective control strategies included PSII herbicides. The new non PSII herbicide Valor� was effective when only a short period of control was required. The mix isoxaflutole and imazapic was very cost effective ($28 / ha) but could result in phytotoxicity on cane if used in an inappropriate soil type and a rainfall event moved the herbicides to the cane root zone. Four field trials comparing alternative strategies to spot spray Barrage to control stools of Guinea grass showed that none of the direct spray techniques and herbicide strategies achieved an acceptable control of Guinea grass stools in the cane row. A pot trial showed that a mix of Balance� at 75 g 100L-1 and Daconate� at 1.5L 100L-1 was the most effective herbicidal option to use as a spot spray, however it is not endorsed by the products� labels. Four runoff field trials comparing the runoff losses of 16 herbicides registered in cane using rainfall simulations showed that runoff losses of pre-emergent herbicides were largely driven by their application rate, with the exception of pendimethalin and flumioxazin which were less prone to runoff. Four cover crop field trials showed that cowpea alone or cowpea mixed with lablab and millet were the best weed suppressants, as long as the cover crops were sown at twice the standard sowing rate and before any weeds germinated. These cover crops performed in no-till, zonal till and full tillage systems. This report also identified a suitable methodology and a service provider for routine screening of new varieties for herbicide susceptibility. Since 2016, a two-step screening program including a pot trial pre-screening in year one and a field trial in year two to determine any potential cane yield reduction is being carried out by SRA as part of the variety release program.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this itemhttps://hdl.handle.net/11079/17410
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