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Australia : Paddock Practices: How to manage wild oats in northern cropping systems.

Wild oats is the most wide spread weed across the northern grain growing regions of New South Wales and Queensland, and the most competitive grass weed in cereal crops.

Impacting around 600,000 hectares across this region, it is estimated the costs of controlling wild oats together with crop production losses are $4.5 million annually.

As a consequence, the weed species is a focus of a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) investment in Innovation in Crop Weed Control program, undertaking research into managing wild oats through crop competition, herbicides and mechanical strategies.

This newly collaborative program is overseen by Dr Michael Walsh, Director Weed Research from the University of Sydney. Managing wild oats as part of an integrated weed management program focuses on reducing the weed seed bank over a three to four year period, utilising a range of practices.

Herbicide resistance

Despite similar herbicide selection and use, herbicide resistance in wild oats has developed at a slower rate than other weed species. In comparison to annual ryegrass, wild oats has been almost boring as far as herbicide resistance is concerned, as the weed species has not achieved the same level of resistance as annual ryegrass, said Dr Walsh.

Research in Western Australia on the herbicide resistance evolution of wild oats has shown that the hexaploid genetic characteristic leads to a delay in the development of resistance traits relative to diploid species such as annual ryegrass. Hexaploid plant cells have six sets of chromosomes, whilst diploid cells feature two. Wild oats is self-pollinated, and therefore any resistance gained within a plant does not cross over to other plants, unlike cross pollinating annual ryegrass. The positive of this is that herbicide resistance in wild oats is delayed relative to other grass weed species, but the negative is that herbicide resistance does eventually occur with continued herbicide selection, Dr Walsh said. There are currently relatively high frequencies (30-40 per cent) of Group A resistant wild oat populations across some areas of the wheatbelt.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 21, 2017
Words:346
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