Brendon Cant brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Mar 29 12:39:44 EST 2006


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WA lupin growers need to manage wild radish carefully as the weed can hammer
down yields by up to 24 per cent, even when present in modest numbers.


Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) supported Department of
Agriculture researchers, Drs Shahab Pathan, Bob French and Abul Hashem
recently put three lupin cultivars head to head with wild radish populations
of between two and twenty plants/m2 to see how they fared.


Belara, Mandelup and Tanjil took on their wild radish competitors in trials
at Merredin and Wongan Hills. Not surprisingly, the weed bolted away quickly
to erect a canopy that denied light to fledgling lupin plants and slowed


Attempts to regulate radish plant density underlined the weed’s vigour, with
more plants establishing than researchers had intended. Foliar tests showed
that the weeds sucked up more macronutrients than the lupins, compounding
the weed pest’s high establishment rate.


Growing 35 to 50cm taller than lupin, wild radish exploits its height to
soak up sun and cut lupin’s access to photosynthetically active radiation by
up to 54 per cent.


While that competition cuts yields in all lupin varieties, Mandelup
performed best, with yields dipping from 2.3t/ha to 1.9t/ha at three
radish/m2, 1.7 t/ha at 14 radish/m2 and 1.6 t/ha at 28 radish/m2.


Tanjil and Belara started at 2.1t/ha and 1.6t/ha and fell away much more
rapidly, with Tanjil suffering a 24 per cent yield deficit after the
appearance of only three radish/m2. At 28 radish/m2, Belara and Tanjil each
yielded about 1t/ha.


Grain protein stayed steady and because yield was affected much more than
overall biomass, it seems competition from radish is most intense during the
reproductive stage.



The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6272 5525

Further Information: Dr Shahab Pathan, Tel 08 9081 3111

GRDC REF:CDMar065.doc/DAW00099/000114/Sandow


Brendon Cant & Associates
Public Relations & Marketing 
Suite 5
4 Gugeri St
Claremont WA 6010
Tel 08 9384 1122


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