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Improving management of summer weeds in dryland cropping systems with Cotton

Osten, Vikki and Werth, Jeff (2008) Improving management of summer weeds in dryland cropping systems with Cotton. Project Report. Cotton Catchment Communities CRC.

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Article Link(s): http://hdl.handle.net/1/440

Publisher URL: http://www.insidecotton.com/jspui/bitstream/1/440/1/Cotton_CRC_Final_Report_1117_Walker_Werth_Osten.pdf

Abstract

In 2001 a scoping study (phase I) was commissioned to determine and prioritise the weed issues of cropping systems with dryland cotton. The main findings were that the weed flora was diverse, cropping systems complex, and weeds had a major financial and economical impact. Phase II 'Best weed management strategies for dryland cropping systems with cotton' focused on improved management of the key weeds, bladder ketmia, sowthistle, fleabane, barnyard grass and liverseed grass.In Phase III 'Improving management of summer weeds in dryland cropping systems with cotton', more information on the seed-bank dynamics of key weeds was gained in six pot and field studies. The studies found that these characteristics differed between species, and even climate in the case of bladder ketmia. Species such as sowthistle, fleabane and barnyard grass emerged predominately from the surface soil. Sweet summer grass was also in this category but also had a significant proportion emerging from 5 cm depth. Bladder ketmia in central Queensland emerged mainly from the top 2 cm, whereas in southern Queensland it emerged mainly from 5 cm. Liverseed grass had its highest emergence from 5 cm below the surface. In all cases the persistence of seed increased with increasing soil depth. Fleabane was also found to be sensitive to soil type with no seedlings emerging in the self-mulching black vertisol soil. A strategic tillage trial showed that burial of fleabane seed, using a disc or chisel plough, to a depth of greater than 2 cm can significantly reduce subsequent fleabane emergence. In contrast, tillage increased barnyard grass emergence and tended to decrease persistence. This research showed that weed management plans can not be blanketed across all weed species, rather they need to be targeted for each main weed species.This project has also resulted in an increased knowledge of how to manage fleabane from the eight experiments; one in wheat, two in sorghum, one in cotton and three in fallow on double knock. For summer crops, the best option is to apply a highly effective fallow treatment prior to sowing the crops. For winter crops, the strategy is the integration of competitive crops, residual herbicide followed by a knockdown to control survivors. This project explored further the usefulness of the double knock tactic for weed control and preventing seed set. Two field and one pot experiments have shown that this tactic was highly effective for fleabane control. Paraquat products provided good control when followed by glyphosate. When 2, 4-D was added in a tank mix with glyphosate and followed by paraquat products, 99-100% control was achieved in all cases. The ideal follow-up times for paraquat products after glyphosate were 5-7 days. The preferred follow-up times for 2, 4-D after glyphosate were on the same day and one day later. The pot trial, which compared a population from a cropping field with previous glyphosate exposure and a population from a non-cropping area with no previous glyphosate herbicide exposure, showed that the pervious herbicide exposure affected the response of fleabane to herbicidal control measures. The web-based brochure on managing fleabane has been updated.Knowledge on management of summer grasses and safe use of residual herbicides was derived from eight field and pot experiments. Residual grass and broadleaf weed control was excellent with atrazine pre-plant and at-planting treatments, provided rain was received within a short interval after application. Highly effective fallow treatments (cultivation and double knock), not only gave excellent grass control in the fallow, also gave very good control in the following cotton. In the five re-cropping experiments, there were no adverse impacts on cotton from atrazine, metolachlor, metsulfuron and chlorsulfuron residues following use in previous sorghum, wheat and fallows. However, imazapic residues did reduce cotton growth.The development of strategies to reduce the heavy reliance on glyphosate in our cropping systems, and therefore minimise the risk of glyphosate resistance development, was a key factor in the research undertaken. This work included identifying suitable tactics for summer grass control, such as double knock with glyphosate followed by paraquat and tillage. Research on fleabane also concentrated on minimising emergence through tillage, and applying the double knock tactic. Our studies have shown that these strategies can be used to prevent seed set with the goal of driving down the seed bank. Utilisation of the strategies will also reduce the reliance on glyphosate, and therefore reduce the risk of glyphosate resistance developing in our cropping systems.Information from this research, including ecological and management data were collected from an additional eight paddock monitoring sites, was also incorporated into the Weeds CRC seed bank model "Weed Seed Wizard", which will be able to predict the impact of different management options on weed populations in cotton and grain farming systems. Extensive communication activities were undertaken throughout this project to ensure adoption of the new strategies for improved weed management and reduced risk for glyphosate resistance.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Keywords:Final report
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Integrated weed control
Plant culture > Field crops > Textile and fibre plants
Deposited On:08 Nov 2011 04:55
Last Modified:16 Feb 2016 06:12

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