Testing crop row placement and pre-emergence herbicide options for brome grass on Mallee sand

2015 - 2016

Research organisatons
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Rick Llewellyn (CSIRO), Sam Kleeman, Chris Preston (UoA), Therese McBeath, Navneet Aggarwal, Bill Davoren, Vadakattu Gupta (CSIRO), Gurjeet Gill (UoA), Willie Shoobridge, Stasia Kroker and Marcus Hicks (CSIRO)
Year(s) 2015 - 2016
Contributor Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc.
Trial location(s) Site 6, Karoonda, SA
Related trials
Testing crop row placement and pre-emergence herbicide options for brome grass on Mallee sand locations

Brome grass is the costliest weed to grain production in the Mallee region despite herbicide resistance being relatively low. This paper brings together research trials from 2015 and 2016 addressing the potential for greater efficacy of pre-emergence herbicides on brome and the potential for better crop competition on non-wetting sands. For growers looking to often seed earlier and reduce reliance on Group B herbicides, pre-emergence herbicides can be an important part of brome management strategies but trifluralin often has limited efficacy. Previous trials at the MSF Karoonda site looking at a range of pre-emergence herbicides have shown the potential for greater than 75% brome control, but also the potential for variability under different early-season conditions. Improving crop competition can greatly improve herbicide efficacy. Other trials on non-wetting sandy soil at the Karoonda site have shown the potential for better crop establishment and large reductions in brome seed set suppression through seeding the crop on or near last year’s crop row (e.g. McBeath et al 2015). In 2016 the interactions between pre-emergence herbicide options and crop row placement were investigated.

Key messages
  • Substantially better brome control and seed set reduction is possible by using pre-emergence options other than trifluralin.
  • The costly Sakura+Avadex treatment is likely to be the most effective.
  • Consistency of performance of all pre-emergence herbicides for brome remains a problem
  • On-row seeding on non-wetting sand showed that it can substantially improve early crop emergence.
  • One reason for this is the likely wetter surface soil in rows at time of seeding.
  • Seasonal conditions such as the long-wet season of 2016 will affect efficacy of both pre-emergence herbicides and the impact of additional crop competition on brome seed set suppression.
  • Maintaining low seedbanks and having alternative options for weed seed control when faced with a risk of ‘blowouts’ in brome seed set is important given the chance of particularly poor control in some seasons.
Lead research organisation Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
Host research organisation Mallee Sustainable Farming Inc.
Trial funding source GRDC MSF00003
Related program Maintaining profitable farming systems with retained stubble

This work was funded under the GRDC Stubble Initiative in partnership with MSF and CSIRO. Thanks to site hosts Peter and Hannah Loller and Damian Mowat for additional technical support and input from Jeff Braun and Michael Moodie.

Other trial partners The University of Adelaide
Download the trial report to view additional trial information


Crop type Wheat
Treatment type(s)
  • Herbicide
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Randomised,Replicated,Blocked

Karoonda 2015

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Fertiliser Not specified

Karoonda 2016

Sow date 31 May 2016
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication 4

DAP @ 50 kg/ha and Urea @ 24 kg/ha at sowing

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Trial source data and summary not available
Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Observed trial site soil information
Trial site soil testing
Not specified
Soil conditions
Trial site Soil texture
Site 6, Karoonda, SA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Site 6, Karoonda, SA Calcarosol
National soil grid Source
NOTE: National Soil Grid data is aggregated information for background information on the wider area
Actual soil values can vary significantly in a small area and the trial soil tests are the most relevant data where available

Soil properties



Derived climate information

No observed climate data available for this trial.
Derived climate data is determined from trial site location and national weather sources.

Site 6, Karoonda SA


Some data on this site is sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology

SILO weather estimates sourced from https://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/silo/
Jeffrey, S.J., Carter, J.O., Moodie, K.B. and Beswick, A.R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data , Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol 16/4, pp 309-330. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-8152(01)00008-1.

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Trial last modified: 06-08-2019 07:54am AEST