Agronomy Update | The Big Wet.....What Now?

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The 'Big Wet'. So what now??? 

David Stead, Anazasi Agronomy. 

 With much of the Wheatbelt sitting somewhere between 3 and as much as 13" rain, there are PLENTY of winter and summer weeds about to join us in 2017!!! 

Soil temperatures have dropped 12-15C in the last 2 weeks, and I've seen radish, doublegee, capeweed, ryegrass, barley grass, brome grass, geranium, lupins (blue, yellow and white!), ALL volunteer cereals and of course, melons (both common forms), caltrop, fleabane, heliotrope and many summer grasses...

What to do with the array of weeds? Quite simply, WHEN we can get onto paddocks, weeds will be of a fair size. The weather forecast for the following 2 weeks is pretty terrific coupled with the moisture for growing weeds, but it's also going to be great for spraying at least a couple of tanks a day? So what to use?

Cropping paddocks for 2017 are going to be quite simple. NOTHING has changed in the way of summer sprays from the stock standard glypho+ester+garlon, and it MUST have ammonium sulphate and an oil.

  • I believe our starting rates will be in the order of 800ml glypho (450), 350ml Ester (680) and 100ml triclopyr (600), 1kg/100lt tank mix ammonium sulphate granules and 1% antivap, or indeed 0.5-1% Enhance/Inbound/Uptake etc. Yes, Hot-Up can be used but at 1% as a minimum - and when glypho rates rise above 1.2lt, add in extra ammonium sulphate. Rates will rise after a week to 1lt Glypho, 4-500ml ester and 150ml triclopyr - adjuvants will stay the same. After another week, I'd be at 1.2-1.5lt glypho, 500ml ester as a minimum and 150-200ml triclopyr.

  • We CAN obviously add other chemistry into this brew - Ally at 5-7g will assist with Caltrop certainly, as well as provide a little residual for the following 6-10weeks. OBVIOUSLY ONLY USE THIS where the paddock is DEFINITELY going into cereal. Furthermore, the addition of 500g atrazine for paddocks going into lupins or TT canola is an excellent option as well. Diuron can be used ahead of ANY FORM OF CANOLA, LUPINS and cereal of course - this will be a fall back option if capies suddenly get out of control, as they regularly can this far out from seeding.

  • PASTURES are a little more difficult, as obviously there has been an impressive germination of serradella and clover, and in some cases, medic. Glypho will hurt these species, and ester will hold them back considerably as well, as they're small and actively growing. Triclopyr does not have the same impact - it certainly halts growing for a period, but clover especially is not harmed as triclopyr breaks down so very quickly. Additives for pasture country will include Diuron, Broadstrike, Raptor and 2.4DB as well as Verdict (haloxyfop 520) for geranium, etc. Looking at the Verdict as well, I will be running some grass selective over summer grasses to see what may take the pressure off glypho - so will have some info soon I hope? Labels suggest 150-200ml Verdict, or 500-1000ml Targa for some of the summer grass species spreading across our region...

Lastly, there is a MASSIVE hatching of Rutherglen Bug - ESPECIALLY on pasture country and canola stubbles. Initially I don't think we need to throw insecticide into the brew, but this may change in 10 days or so...the bugs that are there currently are playing adult games, and their populations can explode as a result. THEY WILL IMPACT pasture country now, and can hang around and give us grief at seeding time for ANY CROP!!

Furthermore, be aware that Stable Fly and March Fly, (Horse Flies, whatever you call the horrible, stabbing bastards!) and of course mozzies will be laying eggs in matted, rotting stubble and can increase their numbers considerably as well. These can be problematic to control, being so largely dependent on reducing the areas they can lay eggs...repellents may be the order of the day, or get your palms calloused and ready! 

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