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Weeding Out Summer Wastage

Every year, summer weeds suck precious nutrients and moisture from the soil, wasting crops and denting profits. And this year is no different. In fact, with this higher summer rainfall, the conditions are rife for weed invasions. Which leaves Australian farmers facing two big questions:

1. What’s the most effective way to prevent wastage from weeds this summer?

There’s no single easy answer. Pesticide alone won’t cut it. In one summer weed control demonstration by Liebe Group, weed counts taken before and after pesticide treatments with Garlon and Ally showed no significant drop. But the study confirmed that the quicker kill by Garlon helped retain soil moisture, and increase the wheat yield — so we do know that speed counts.

This finding was reinforced in a further study conducted by BCG, where spraying with Ally and Atrazine was ineffective at complete weed removal. All of which points to a combination of tillage and pesticides as an effective dual method of summer weed control. By attacking the enemy quickly, and on two fronts, crops can be saved by preserving vital soil moisture.

2. Or am I really just wasting my money?

The evidence gives us a clear and resounding ‘no’. Results from 21 CSIRO trials show that summer weed control delivers an average 60% increase in seasonal water usage efficiency, and an average $5.57 return for every dollar invested.

And as for keeping summer weeds around as fallow feed for livestock, one of the trials confirmed that controlling summer weeds rather than leaving them for feed increased the average farm income by at least $74/ha. Yet more proof that the faster you deal with weeds the better.

The SPEEDTILLER® by K-Line Ag is a high-performing, heavy duty adjustable speed disc for fast and effective weed control. It’s also good for soil conditioning with superior water penetration and it can incorporate high levels of crop residue, increasing your soil’s carbon content.

With machine sizes up to 15.5m and Australian made, the Speedtiller®’s advanced design puts it in a class of its own. And puts the arguments about summer weeds to rest.

Reference

1 GRDC – Controlling Summer Weeds to Reap Yield Benefits
2 Liebe Group – Summer Weed Control Demonstration
3 BCG Crop & Pasture Production Manual 2005-06 – Summer Weed Trial

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