Why do the trial?
Barley grass possesses several biological traits that make it difficult for growers to manage it in the low rainfall zone, so it is not surprising that it is becoming more prevalent in field crops in SA and WA. A survey by Llewellyn et al. (2015) showed that barley grass has now made its way into the top 1 O weeds of Australian cropping in terms of area infested, crop yield loss and revenue loss.
The biological traits that make barley grass difficult for growers to manage in low rainfall zones include:
- early onset of seed production, which reduces effectiveness of crop-topping or spray-topping in pastures,
shedding seeds well before crop harvest, reducing harvest weed seed control effectiveness compared to weeds such as ryegrass which has a much higher seed retention,• increased seed dormancy, reducing weed control from knockdown herbicides due to delayed emergence, and
• increasing herbicide resistance, especially to Group A herbicides, used to control grass weeds in pasture phase and legume crops.
Barley grass management is likely to be more challenging in the low rainfall zone because the growing seasons tend to be more variable in terms of rainfall, which can affect the performance of the pre-emergence herbicides. Furthermore, many growers in these areas tend to have lower budgets for management tactics, and break crops are generally perceived as more risky than cereals. Therefore, wheat and barley tend to be the dominant crops in the low rainfall zone. This project is undertaking coordinated research with farming systems groups across the Southern and Western cropping regions to demonstrate tactics that can be reliably used to improve the management of barley grass.
In 2019 the IMI system had the lowest barley grass plant numbers.
The Cultural Control strategy did not achieve the desired outcome of having a more even seed spread and increased competition in interrow row for barley grass weed control.
The medic pasture produced low dry matter compared to the cereal systems, had the highest barley grass population, and the lowest competitive ability with the barley grass.
The loss of Group A herbicides to control barley grass within local pasture systems has the potential to change rotations and decrease farm profitability.
Minnipa SA 2019 Barley
Three replicated broad acre strips of three seeder widths (27 m wide) were sown in MAC paddock S3
on 17 May. Barley was sown at a seeding rate of 65 kg/ha, with GranulockZ fertiliser at 50 kg/ha,
and 1.2 L/ha glyphosate, 1.5 L/ha trifluralin and 400 g/ha diuron. The 'Higher cost' chemical
strategy hay cut barley was sown at 95 kg/ha, and the 'Cultural control' double seeding rate was
inter row sown with a final seeding rate of 120 kg/ ha and was only sprayed with 1.2 L/ha
glyphosate. The IMI strategy with Scope barley was sprayed on the 16 July with 700 ml/ha lntervix.
Lead research organisation
SARDI Minnipa Agricultural Centre
Host research organisation
Eyre Peninsula Agricultural Research Foundation
Trial funding source
Demonstrating and validating the implementation of integrated weed management strategies to control barley grass in the low rainfall zone farming system
The research was funded by GRDC 9176981. Thanks you to Katrina Brands and Steve Jeffs or processing samples
Trial source data and summary not available Check the trial report PDF for trial results.
Minnipa SA 2019
Observed climate information
Rainfall avg ann (mm)
Rainfall avg gsr (mm)
Rainfall trial total (mm)
Rainfall trial gsr (mm)
Derived climate information
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
2019 trial report
2019 trial report
GRDC Final Report
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Related Final Reports Referencing GRDC code
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Related Final Reports By Crop type and Region
Weed Barley GrassSouthern
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Trial last modified: 16-03-2023 14:11pm AEST
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