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Grains & Cropping

25 November, 2020

Tactics for effective feathertop Rhodes grass control on offer

The workshops, being run across southern Queensland and northern NSW next week, aim to provide growers and advisers with the knowledge to tackle this complex weed in northern farming systems.


QUEENSLAND and New South Wales grain growers searching for solutions in the ongoing battle against feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) are invited to attend one-day weed management workshops being offered by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC).

The workshops, being run across southern Queensland and northern NSW next week, aim to provide growers and advisers with the knowledge to tackle this complex weed in northern farming systems.

GRDC Crop Protection Manager – North, Vicki Green, said early control was one of the most effective ways to manage FTR (Chloris virgata).

“Research had consistently shown that a ‘wait and see’ strategy relying on post-emergent herbicides doesn’t work,” Mrs Green said.

“Successful programs typically require an integrated approach that combines farm hygiene, residual herbicides, crop competition, well targeted post-emergent herbicides and, in some situations, tillage. 

“FTR is widespread across the region but successful management is possible provided there is vigilance in monitoring, forward planning and early action is taken. If it does become established it has the potential to force significant changes to farming operations.”

The latest control tactics are now available in a newly published Integrated Weed Management of Feathertop Rhodes Grass manual, which was developed by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) with GRDC investment.

“This manual is an important reference tool for any grower or adviser struggling to get on top of this particularly invasive weed,” Mrs Green said.

“Copies will be offered in hardcopy to growers attending the upcoming workshops and are also available from the GRDC Toowoomba office or as a digital version.”

The 2020 GRDC FTR workshops will be facilitated by weed specialist Mark Congreve from Independent Consultants Australia Network (ICAN).

Mr Congreve said despite FTR being a challenging weed, growers who used an aggressive and integrated intervention approach could bring major infestations under control within a few seasons.

“These workshops are designed to improve grower and adviser knowledge of FTR ecology and biology, as well as herbicide tolerance and resistance issues to help inform their management strategies,” Mr Congreve said.

“These free sessions will also offer practical information on management tactics such as farm hygiene, crop competition and crop sequencing, double knock and in-crop post-emergent herbicides, residual herbicides, and tillage.”

Mrs Green said participant numbers were restricted at the workshops due to COVID-19, however, growers and advisers were encouraged to register their interest so GRDC could assess the need for additional events.

The 2020 workshops will be held:

For more information go to GRDC FTR workshops or contact Mark Congreve on 0427 209 234 or Erica McKay on 0417 063 036.    



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