The ‘Big 6’ of the WeedSmart plan – how many do you do?
The Big 6 is here to help make winning the battle against crop weeds simple to follow and apply. There are 6 core points for you to follow and some additional “WeedSmart Wisdom” points for you to consider. Follow the links below for practical tips and tricks to implement these strategies on-farm and further information on the research to back up these steps. This plan is all about the farmer calling the shots, not the weeds. The Big 6 has evolved since its inception and will now include different cropping systems throughout Australia. We launched the Summer Big 6 at Emerald WeedSmart Week. The Big 6 will now encompass both winter cropping systems (Winter Big 6) and summer cropping system (Summer Big 6). Keep an eye out for these changes over the coming months on our website. For now, you can check out the Summer Big 6 here.
1. Rotate crops and pastures
- Use double break crops, fallow and pasture phases to drive the
weed seedbank down over consecutive years.
2. Double knock – to preserve glyphosate
- Follow glyphosate with a high rate of paraquat to control survivors in a fallow or pre-sowing situation.
3. Mix and rotate herbicides
- Rotate between herbicide groups;
- Use different groups within the same herbicide mix;
- Always use full rates.
4. Stop weed seed set
- Crop top canola, pulses and feed barley (currently under permit) in weedy paddocks;
- Consider hay, brown manure or long fallow in high-pressure paddocks;
- Spray top/spray fallow pasture prior to the cropping phase.
5. Crop competition
- Adopt at least one competitive strategy (but two is better),
including reduced row spacing, higher seeding rates, east-west sowing and competitive varieties.
6. Harvest weed seed control – the holy grail
- Capture weed seed survivors at harvest using chaff lining, chaff tramlining, chaff carts, narrow windrow burning or integrated weed seed destructors.
- Never cut the rate
- Spray well – choose correct nozzles, adjuvants and water rates
- Clean seed – don’t seed resistant weeds
- Clean borders – avoid evolving resistance on the fence line
- Test – know your resistance levels