Ross, Ingrid, David and Margot Uebergang have been growing cotton for 27 years at Miles on the Darling Downs.
They combat a series of weeds each year, in both their cotton and winter crops, including fleabane, feathertop Rhodes grass, barnyard grass, liverseed grass, bladder ketmia, black pigweed, caustic creeper, caltrop, volunteer cotton, milk thistle, fireweed, black oats and phalaris. Bellvine is an emerging problem on the farm, one Ross Uebergang suspects may become a larger problem down the track.
The Uebergangs are yet to do any resistance testing – something Ross hopes to implement this season – but suspect they may have resistant grass weeds.
As a result, they have implemented a whole-of-farm approach to integrated weed management, involving multiple weed-control tactics.
“If you keep relying on one tactic no matter what it is, a problem is going to arise,” said Ross. “We are trying to manage resistance and also the buildup of problem weed seeds. If we don’t, resistant or hard-to-kill weeds will bring the whole farming system unstuck.”
“For us, grasses are the main problem. We have barnyard grass and feathertop Rhodes grass and we’re unsure if they’re resistant or just hard to kill,” he said.
Ross doesn’t rely on glyphosate: his approach includes pre-plant residuals, pre-emergent knock downs, and ‘laybys’ (residual herbicides used to control weeds in- crop), plus non-herbicide tactics including cultivations and spot chipping.
“Our current strategy is to apply a residual six-weeks prior to cotton planting and then to pre-irrigate to allow the volunteers and other hard-to-kill weeds to emerge.
“We follow this with pre- and post-planting knockdowns, which include gramoxone (Group L). In crop, we apply two Group M (glyphosate) sprays and a Group A spray to target feathertop Rhodes grass and will also apply in-crop residual chemicals with shield spray in problem fields.
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