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.
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