Burning temperatures of harvest windrows and standing stubbles in low rainfall farming systems


Research organisaton
Funding source

Trial details

Researcher(s) Amanda Cook (SARDI)
Year(s) 2017
Contributor SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Trial location(s) Site 4, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA
Burning temperatures of harvest windrows and standing stubbles in low rainfall farming systems locations

Farmers and advisors list weeds as one of the major constraints to improving the productivity and sustainability of southern Australian farming systems. Narrow windrow burning has been rapidly adopted across southern Australia as a weed management tool. The technique has been found to be very effective for controlling annual ryegrass and wild radish in WA. These weed species retain much of their seed by the time of crop harvest and a significant amount of weed seeds can be collected by the harvester and then concentrated into rows with the chaff and straw. High weed seed kill efficacy is generally achieved for annual ryegrass and wild radish at temperatures often achieved by burning narrow windrows.

Knowledge of both the threshold temperatures to kill weed seeds, and the temperatures achieved when burning crop residues in various formats are required to provide a guide to expected weed seed control of problematic weeds in low rainfall cropping systems. Unlike a whole paddock burn, this information will only relate to the fate of seed that enters the harvest windrow. The total efficacy of this method will be largely controlled by the proportion of weed seeds that can be collected by the harvester. 

Key messages
  • Cereal windrow burning achieved temperatures in excess of those required to achieve high levels of weed seed mortality, except in paddocks which had 11mm of rainfall the week before.'
  • The open paddock burn with a high stubble load had a quicker, faster burn but still achieved the necessary temperatures of 450 degrees Celsius for longer than 60 seconds.
Lead research organisation SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Host research organisation N/A
Trial funding source SAGIT S416
Related program N/A

Thank you to Ruth and Damien Sommerville, Matt Nottle, Barry Mudge, Hannah Mikajlo, Jake Hull, Wade Shepperd, Ian Richter, Rochelle Wheaton and Brett Hay for their involvement in data collection.

Other trial partners Upper North Farming Systems
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Crop type No crop specified
Treatment type(s)
  • Stubble: Management
Trial type Experimental
Trial design Replicated

Minnipa Agricultural Centre 2017

Sow date Not specified
Harvest date Not specified
Plot size Not specified
Plot replication Not specified
Download the trial report to view additional method/treatment information
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 4, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, SA Not specified
Derived trial site soil information
Australian Soil Classification Source
Trial site Soil order
Site 4, Minnipa Agricultural Centre, 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 4, Minnipa Agricultural Centre 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.

Trial report and links

2017 trial report