New Grains Research and Development Corporation data shows some barley varieties have a competitive edge over weeds

Birchip Cropping Group research officer Linda Walters. Picture: SUPPLIED
Birchip Cropping Group research officer Linda Walters. Picture: SUPPLIED

NEW Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) data has revealed some new varieties of barley offer grain growers a non-herbicide option for grass weed control in low rainfall cropping zones.

The competitive nature of certain barley varieties has been investigated by the Birchip Cropping Group (BCG) as part of the GRDC’s Southern Barley Agronomy project investment.

BCG research officer Linda Walters said increasing prevalence of herbicide resistance it was important that alternative weed control methods were looked at.

“Non-herbicide methods, such as sowing competitive barley varieties, are options that growers need to be considering when planning their paddock rotations,” Ms Walters said.

Weed competition trials were established by BCG at Nhill in Victoria’s West Wimmera in 2013 and 2016, and at Curyo in the Southern Mallee in 2017.

Oats with vigorous early growth and early maturity were used to simulate brome grass weeds.

The varieties were divided into four types representing different plant architectures and growth habits that may influence competition – Hindmarsh type, Compass type, Westminster type and Urambie type.

Ms Walter’s GRDC Grains Research Update paper can be viewed via https://grdc.com.au/resources-and-publications/grdc-update- papers