[ASC-media] WIZARD'S WONDERFUL WEED DECISIONS: Crop Doctor

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Jul 9 03:30:27 CEST 2008


WIZARD’S WONDERFUL WEED DECISIONS 9.7.08


Weed Seed Wizard, a recently released computer tool, should help grain
growers make better weed management decisions.


The underlying message is that to win the war against weeds, growers must
fight a long-term campaign against the seedbank hidden beneath the soil.



Wizard co-project leaders are Dr Michael Renton,The University of Western
Australia (UWA) and Dr Sally Peltzer, Department of Agriculture and Food WA
(DAFWA).



The project was funded by the Cooperative Research Centre for Australian
Weed Management and supported by sponsors, including the Grains Research and
Development Corporation (GRDC).



Dr Peltzer said the Wizard targets major crop weeds from each state
including six weed species common to farming systems in WA: annual ryegrass,
wild radish, brome grass, barley grass, wild oat and silver grass.



Mathematical modeller, Dr Renton, designed Weed Seed Wizard to be
user-friendly.



Available at www.grdc.com.au/weedlinks under the heading IWM, it enables
growers to contact the Wizard himself – programmer, Dr Renton.



According to Dr Renton, the prototype simulates important interactions
between weather, paddock management and seed biology, before predicting
numbers, ages, soil depths, dormancy levels, viability and germination of
seeds in the soil.



Dr Peltzer indicates that a particular strength of the Wizard is to warn
growers of potential weed problems while they are still avoidable.



She said by gaining an insight into the hidden weed seedbank, growers can
co-ordinate their long-term management strategies for weeds.



Dr Rohan Rainbow, GRDC Manager, Crop Protection, said the outcome for
growers using Weed Seed Wizard would be more sustainable farms and farming
practices, which is a key strategy of the GRDC’s Strategic R&D 2007-2012
plan: ‘Prosperity Through Innovation’.



He emphasised that Wizard would indicate how agronomic decisions affect
factors such as weed germination, crop yield and long-term farm
sustainability.



It would also explore how seed characteristics and herbicide resistance of
different weed species or populations can affect management strategies.



Importantly, Wizard can also account for conservation tillage systems, with
provision for a range of non-chemical integrated weed management
characteristics.



Dr Renton describes Weed Seed Wizard as a “work in progress” and said new
weed species and management options will be added as the data becomes
available.


www.grdc.com.au



The Crop Doctor is GRDC Managing Director, Peter Reading, Tel 02 6166 4500
Further Information: Dr Rohan Rainbow, Tel 02 6166 4500

Dr Sally Peltzer, Tel 08 9892 8504

Dr Michael Renton, Tel 08 6488 1959

GRDC REF: CDJune084.doc/CRW5/Rainbow010708



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


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