Agronomy •  13/12/2019

Woody weed control vital for increased production in the Fassifern

Alistair Ross
Alistair Ross, Farmcraft, QLD, said woody weed control was vital for increased pasture production through the Fassifern Valley.
Alistair Ross
Alistair Ross, Farmcraft, QLD, said woody weed control was vital for increased pasture production through the Fassifern Valley.

Grazing country in the Fassifern Valley, southern Queensland, is being made more productive with the control of key woody weeds in pastures.

Alistair Ross, who runs the Farmcraft group of stores in the Fassifern and Lockyer Valley regions, said there was a lot of competition from weeds throughout the region’s grazing country.

In recent years, fireweed has also become a major issue in the area and competes with pasture species and is also toxic to livestock.

“Fireweed has really taken over the district, so we’ve been using products that control this weed and others”.

He said there were a range of woody weed control products from Corteva Agrisciencethat farmers had a lot of confidence in.

“Grazon® Extra is one of our number one products and Hotshot is not very far behind it.  We use Access® and Garlon® 600 as well”.

“They are certainly exceptional products and they do work very effectively, and our growers and graziers are very happy with the response they get from using those products."

Mr Ross said woody weeds tended to be spot sprayed although the spread of fireweed meant many farmers were boom spraying areas to keep them clean.

He said fireweed could be controlled from May and June through into the spring.

“The majority of the spraying is done in the spring time when the plant isn't dormant but we find the fireweed will grow pretty well all year round.”

There are a range of woody weed species that are of concern in the area.

“Lantana, wattles, blackberry nightshade, thorn apple and boxthorn tend to be the spring and during the summer.”

Applications do follow rainfall events, when the weeds are freshened up and can take up the herbicide readily.

“In any region when they've had decent rainfalls and things are lush and growing, they're out there spraying, using Grazon Extra and Hotshot®, and using Uptake® as their wetting agent as well," Mr Ross said.

“Using these products, they are getting a great response because they're taking out the woody weeds.  They're getting fantastic results of taking out these species and then getting fantastic grass growth.”

He said some graziers had been tempted to buy generic products but often had not got the same response as the original products.

“We've had some of them go down the line and buy generic product and they think they're saving themselves a few dollars.  Funnily enough then they'll all come back and buy a Corteva product, whether it is Grazon Extra or Hotshot or Tordon® RegrowthMaster, because they're finding they are not getting the kill.

“The few dollars they're saving is actually costing them more in labour so the effective control of using Corteva products is far superior.  It outweighs the generic products.”

Mr Ross said often farmers were not comparing apples with apples when looking at a Corteva product against a generic option.

“Grazon Extra has aminopyralid in it where the other ones don't.  It does help heat up and give a far better kill.”

Pastures in the area are quite diverse with improved pastures consisting of Rhodes grass, Panics and also some legumes.

In dairy enterprises there are ryegrass bases and clovers, vetches and brassicas.

“Broadstrike® from Corteva is one of our number one herbicide we use when legumes are in the pastures,” Mr Ross said.  “It effectively takes out all of our broadleaf weeds and does a fantastic job of cleaning up the pastures.”

“They get more milk production, more growth production.  Moisture is also very important so we want to utilise every percentage of that moisture in our soil, going into the crop that we are growing for the animals.  We want to take those weeds out of our paddocks and save the moisture."