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Weed and Pest Management
AWI invests in a range of projects to manage both established and emerging weeds and pests of pastures. Several projects focus on improved control of the major weeds and pests affecting pasture productivity and wool quality.
Weeds are estimated to cost Australian livestock industries $2.1 billion per annum in control costs and lost production.
AWI has developed the 3D weed management tools to minimize the impact of priority weeds on pasture productivity and wool quality. The '3Ds' of weed management are:
Deliberation - consider the current weed problem and the desired level of weed control.
Diversity - use a combination of tools to control weeds.
Diligence - continue to manage the weed problem to keep it at the desired level of control.
Implementing the '3Ds' of weed management can increase pasture competitiveness while reducing the proportion of weed species in the pasture.
AWI also funded research into the ecology, biocontrol and management of several established and new weeds of Australian pastures, including Bathurst burr, lippia, prairie ground cherry and Mexican feather grass.
AWI funded research weed and pest projects
AWI invests in a range of projects to manage both established and emerging weeds and pests of pastures.
Research into subterranean clover red leaf syndrome has determined the main cause of the syndrome as Soybean Dwarf Virus (SbDV), which is spread by aphids, but it is likely that a number of other contributing stress factors are involved.
Symptoms of the virus include reddening leaves, stunted plant growth and premature plant death which can lead to significant loss of dry matter and seed production.
Loss of sub clover production is greatest when the plants are infected by the virus in autumn or early winter.
Detailed guidance to help producers manage the syndrome was produced by AWI, MLA, UWA and DPIRD in 2018 in the form of an 8-page fact sheet.
Subterranean clover red leaf syndrome
An extensive guide for producers to better understand subterranean clover red leaf syndrome and best practise guidelines for management.
To help researchers and RDCs determine the extent of the syndrome, producers are also encouraged to continue reporting incidents of it via the online producer survey which is conducted jointly by AWI and MLA.To help researchers and RDCs determine the extent of the syndrome, producers are also encouraged to continue reporting incidents of it via the online producer survey which is conducted jointly by AWI and MLA.
Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is a weed that reduces production in crop and pasture enterprises throughout the Australian wheat-sheep zone and was classified as a Weed of National Significance (WoNS) for Australia in 2012.
AWI collaborated with the Graham Centre, Murrumbidgee Landcare, MLA, SAGIT, the NSW DPI and PIRSA to develop the Silverleaf Nightshade Australian Best Practice Management Manual 2018.
Action taken against silverleaf nightshade can reduce its spread and economic impact within our wheat-sheep zone. This will significantly increase farm profitability, and in some cases, viability.
Silverleaf Nightshade Australian Best Practice Management Manual 2018
As with almost all weeds, the best, simplest and cheapest management plan is to prevent new infestations. This extensive manual details the biology, threat management and case studies of Silverleaf Nightshade infestation and management.
Redlegged earth mite (RLEM) is a major pest of pastures and crops across southern Australia, costing Australian farmers an estimated $200 million per year in lost production.
RLEM are found in the winter-dominant rainfall areas of southern Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Timerite® is an on-line tool developed by AWI and CSIRO to give the optimal spray date for effective control of RLEM for your local area.
To control RLEM, pesticide must be applied to the maximum of live mites and minimum number of eggs, as pesticides do not kill RLEM eggs. Timerite® identifies this date in the RLEM lifecycle for specific locations. Spraying on the right Timerite® date in spring gives optimal RLEM control next Autumn when annual legumes are most susceptible.
Timerite® was tested over seven years on sixty farms across southern Australia. On average, a single spray at the Timerite® date in spring gave 93% RLEM control in autumn eight months later.
Management guides and further information on weeds and pests.