Reducing dependence on trifluralin

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According to Synergy consultant Chris Wilkins, the "iceberg" of trifluralin resistance is just off the port bow and if growers can't see it, they need to have their glasses checked.

It's a message well received by Mr Wilkins' clients, including Dalwallinu farmer Paul Sutherland.

Mr Sutherland still sees trifluralin as playing an important role in his program, but he can also see that continual use means risking the development of trifluralin resistance in his paddocks.

Together, Sutherland and Wilkins have determined to do things differently, including carefully planning the farm's crop protection product use as part of his broader integrated weed management strategy.

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"Trifluralin still works well on some parts of the farm, but our aim is certainly to reduce our dependence on it," Mr Sutherland said.

"Boxer Gold will be used across a lot of our wheat crop this year.

"It has been proven to be effective on annual ryegrass, which is now starting to develop resistance to trifluralin."

Mr Sutherland said he would now alternate Boxer Gold with trifluralin and other pre-emergent herbicides, depending on the weed situation and the crop.

"Where crop safety may be an issue, we'll look to use Boxer Gold as it's shown to have a definite advantage in this area in the past," he said.

Mr Wilkins believes if growers need evidence of the developing trifluralin resistance problem, they should compare the rates they are using now with the ones that were effective just 10 years ago.

"It's a problem that is creeping up on us more quickly than most people realise and it's another annual ryegrass control option we really just can't afford to lose," he said.

"Like many of my clients, Paul is doing the right things with integrated weed management.

"He is burning narrow windrows, using a double knockdown where he can, delaying sowing in weedy paddocks and growing competitive crops. Rotating with Boxer Gold fits into his strategies."

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