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May 2021 Ep Ag n Fert Update


2021 Agronomy Research Site in the ground!

On the 28th of April our annual cropping and pasture agronomy research sites were sown by Andrew Ware and the team from Ep Ag Research. https://www.epagresearch.com.au/


Sowing conditions were dry however with sub soil moisture at depth, this will give us a great true to paddock trial site this year. Hopefully a rain is around the corner so we can get it up and out the ground very soon. Post sowing we completed an application of mouse bait as there were signs of active holes throughout the site.


We have nine crop types in the site including Field Peas, Vetch, Lupins, Cereals and Canola as well as our first look at roundup ready canola. All crops will be harvested by Andrew and his team with yield data and grain quality collected.


We have also sown a pasture site this year, it will be fantastic to show what is happening with pasture variety development as well as improved agronomy in pastures in our local conditions.

The newly released Studencia Vetch and Seraph (PM250) Medic will be in the site as well as two unreleased medic varieties suited to low rainfall.

A range of mixed species pasture blends will be on show as we try to get a better understanding where they fit in our system as well as managing weeds and other agronomic issues.

As always trials are not possible without the support of our clients and allowing us do this work on their property so a big shout out to the Jericho family.


If you require further information or wish to discuss what we have planned for 2021 please don't hesitate to give myself or Troy a call.


Tips on mouse bait control!


. Apply bait at seeding or within 24 hours while seed is still covered by soil increasing the likelihood of mice taking the bait, prior to finding the seed. Rebait through the season as needed.


. Timing is critical, delays of 4-5 days in baiting after seeding can give mice time to find crop seed. High populations can cause up to 5% damage each night.


. Minimise sources of food and shelter, control weeds and volunteer crops along fence lines, clean up residual grain by grazing or rolling stubbles


. One burrow per 100 square meters equals 100 burrows per hectare, or 200 mice per hectare. Burrows usually contain 1 to 4 mice but can have up to 40 mice.


. A rate of 1kg/ha provides 20,000 lethal doses per hectare


. Zinc phosphide bait will tolerate some rain, but rain action erodes the bait quality, so rebaiting may be required if rainfall occurs within 1-3 days of baiting.


Kevin and Troy have set up some bait cards around the district to gain a better understanding of numbers and mice pressure in local paddocks.


Considerations for pre-emergent herbicides when dry sowing


With seeding conditions being dry currently this creates many difficult decisions around pre-emergent weed control and the efficiencies of your chosen pre-emergent herbicides.

With a range of products available now for use in the pre-emergent market both in cereals and legumes it is important to understand the strengths and weakness of these products to achieve the best results possible.

There are many ways for herbicide loss or efficacy loss and three big losses can occur before the crop is even out of the ground, Photodegradation (UV loss), Volatilisation and binding to existing stubble.

Products like Trifluralin, Avadex, Stomp and S-Metolachlor all have a moderate-high risk of volatilisation losses and are therefore classed as volatile herbicides meaning they transition to a gaseous phase after application if left on the soil surface without incorporation.


Herbicide mobility is important to understand how your herbicide will move in a dry or wet soil type. What is your risk of crop damage on certain soil types? will the herbicide control weeds in your crop row? This information is particularly useful when used in addition with understanding how your herbicide is taken up by weeds. For example Triallate is taken up mostly by the coleoptile as is very immobile therefore if weeds are germinating on or very close to the surface efficiency will be reduced, hence the importance of good even soil throw in your seeding system. A product like Sakura has both root and mesocotyl (shoot) uptake and is more mobile in certain soil types. Sakura may be less efficient in dry seeding situations however because of the above when it does rain you can control germinating seeds with in the mesocotyl and with the roots as longs as they stay in the herbicide band - this is when you dig up germinated ryegrass plants in the paddock and see pruned roots.


Dry Sowing Tips for Pre-Emergent herbicides


. Understand your product and how it works to reach the best possible results


. Know which weeds are in the paddock and where they are located shallow or deep in your soil


. Solubility influences how much rain is required for herbicide incorporation, how easily a herbicide will be taken up by a germinating weed and crop, and if a herbicide will be subject to moving down the profile, potentially causing crop injury or loss to leaching


.Binding properties of the herbicides to stubble , organic matter and different soil types

all have an influence on performance.


. Rainfall after application is important for incorporation and availability to the weeds and crop. Rainfall and temperature also affect degradation.


. How strong has previous seasons weed control been? Are there other paddocks that have a better weed control history you could sow first?


. Do you have in crop weed control options both mechanically or with herbicides? if not what is your plan B if your pre-emergent doesn't achieve acceptable control?



Local Agronomy Herbicide Trials


We have been putting the trial boom to work in the past weeks putting out more herbicide trials and demos, they include -

. Vetch broadleaf pre-emergent - 20 x different products and tank mix options assessing crop damage and broadleaf weed control.


. Capeweed pre plant knockdown control - a range of tank mix partners and adjuvants with glyphosate for control of capeweed pre plant.


. Capeweed control in medic pasture - A range of post-emergent broadleaf herbicides aiming to increase capeweed control in a medic pasture paddock.


. Marshmallow control in a pre-plant knockdown - 23 x different products and tank mix options with glyphosate assessing marshmallow control up to 40days after application.

We will have more information regarding these trials as we finalise the results, if you have any questions or possible ideas for more trial work please contact us.



As always, please feel free to ring us to discuss any of your specific issues, questions or you are looking for more detail.

Kevin Dart - 0474 272 577

Troy Maitland - 0499 272 544

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