Cropping

GRDC releases new guide to help identify paddock weeds

By Rodney Woods

Accurately identifying weeds is a key part of effective management, and now a handy new resource from the Grains Research and Development Corporation could help make the task easier for growers and agronomists.

The GRDC has just released Common Weeds of Grain Cropping: The Ute Guide, which includes the key weeds impacting farming systems.

This national version replaces the former regional and seasonal weed ute guides.

GRDC weeds manager Jason Emms said the new and improved national guide was developed in response to calls from industry for a practical, easy-to-access tool for weed identification in the paddock.

“Weed management is one of the toughest challenges facing Australian growers and costs them an estimated $3.3 billion every year,” Dr Emms said.

“Correct identification of weed species is critical for effective management and this guide aims to help support those working in the paddock.

“This time we have opted for a comprehensive national guide, due to the capacity of weeds to evolve, adapt and move into new geographic locations and because many weeds are no longer just summer or winter problems.”

Dr Emms said the new ute guide was a larger format and included descriptions and images of weed species through a range of growth stages.

“This guide is designed for relatively rapid weed identification in the paddock, so we tried to select more than 120 of the most common weeds in Australian cropping systems,” he said.

“In response to feedback from industry we have made sure we have print versions of the ute guide available, so in areas with connectivity challenges, growers and their advisers can keep a copy in their vehicles.

“To ensure the guide is also very practical we have made a point of putting weed species that are closely related and difficult to physically distinguish on the same page, such as hairy panic (Panicum effusum), Hillman’s panic grass (Panicum hillmanii) and witch grass (Panicum capillare).”

Dr Emms said the guide was intended solely as an identification tool and that for control and management information growers should contact their local adviser or refer to the GRDC manual Integrated Weed Management in Australian Cropping Systems.

To order a copy of Common Weeds of Grain Cropping: The Ute Guide, call 1800 110 044 or email: ground-cover-direct@canprint.com.au and quote GRDC order code GRDC1331.