BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Thu Nov 30 03:31:35 CET 2006





WA agronomists who recently completed a new two day workshop on integrated
weed management are now stocked with the latest weapons to combat herbicide
resistance threatening millions of hectares of WA's grainbelt.


Developed with assistance from the Grains Research and Development
Corporation (GRDC) and the CRC for Australian Weed Management, the course
also enjoyed substantial input from the University of WA based WA Herbicide
Resistance Initiative.


Course convenor, John Cameron of ICAN said interest in the training
reflected the alarming increase in the area affected by herbicide resistant
weeds and the applied practical nature of the workshop, which was purpose
designed for field agronomists. 


"Key challenges identified and tackled include widespread resistance in
annual ryegrass to a large range of herbicide mode-of-action groups and,
alarmingly, a significant recent rise in the number of weed populations
resistant to phenoxy herbicides, trifluralin and even glyphosate," he said.


In WA, about 80 per cent of annual ryegrass populations are resistant to
Group A fop herbicides and/or Group B herbicides and in WA's northern
agricultural region, most paddocks have resistance to phenoxy herbicides
(i.e. 2,4-D and MCPA) in wild radish.


After a recent workshop for Elders agronomists in Perth, Elders Manager
Technical and Professional Services, Bevan Addison said that dealing with
herbicide resistance was an integral part of what his agronomists did every


"Having all the relevant material packaged in a comprehensive 350 page
reference manual and a training workshop targeted to their needs, greatly
assists them to argue the case for management change," he said.


"In the north, tough decisions on resistance are needed every day and in the
Great Southern, tighter management now will help maintain herbicide efficacy
and keep resistant weeds at low levels longer. 


"We do a lot of in-field testing for growers and also conduct significant
research trials on herbicide resistance and mechanisms to aid grower
decision making. 


"This GRDC supported workshop gives a field focus to some of the work being
done in controlled environments by other groups.


"It is vital we have as much information as possible, so we can provide the
best immediate and longer term sustainable advice to our clients," Mr
Addison said


Accreditation from the IWM course can be used for AgSafe re-accreditation,
which all staff involved in the supply of agricultural chemicals to farmers
must have. 


Mr Cameron said the knowledge that agronomists had been trained and
accredited in the latest information in this critical area could only help
grower confidence in the quality of advice they were receiving.


"The course is mapped to national competency standards and a formal industry
competency is available to participants.


"It can be used as two units towards a Diploma in Agriculture from Tocal
College,  two units towards Ag Credited, a new national accreditation
program for farm advisers managed by the Australian Institute for
Agricultural Science and Technology and as a re-accreditation module for
AgSafe," he said.


More than 300 advisers have participated in 19 two day workshops in all
mainland states.



Authorised by GRDC and issued on its behalf by Brendon Cant & Associates,
Tel 08 9384 1122


Bevan Addison, Mob 0427 422 852

John Cameron, Tel 02 9482 4930





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