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October 2012                                                                  


Welcome to the latest NGA newsletter featuring a snapshot of the summer 2012-13 program.

Our team of Trials Agronomists are currently juggling winter crop harvest with the search for a number of key trial sites. In particular if you have sites with expected high levels of feathertop Rhodes grass, awnless barnyard grass or windmill grass, we would be very keen to hear from you.

2012-13 Summer Trial Snapshots

1. Residual Herbicides in the Summer Fallow
Six trials targeting the control of awnless barnyard grass, four trials targeting feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) and two targeting windmill grass (WG). The main aim is to look at the longevity of residual activity on both broadleaf and grass weed control. 
2. Chloris Herbicide Compatibility
Three trials are planned (two on FTR, one on WG) to evaluate the impact on grass control from a range of broadleaf herbicide options when mixed with a Group A herbicide. Treatments will be compared with or without a double-knock treatment of paraquat.  
3. Chloris Double-knock Timing
Three trials (two on FTR, one on WG) comparing glyphosate and Group A products for knockdown control. Main aims are to confirm appropriate timing intervals for paraquat double-knock application and to evaluate alternative Group A herbicides that may have shorter plantback restrictions.
4. Non-Phenoxy Products for Fleabane Control
Evaluation of herbicide options for controlling large fleabane in the summer fallow. The emphasis in these three trials will be on products that can be safely used near cotton and other phenoxy sensitive crops and provide acceptable efficacy as part of a double-knock strategy.
5. Phenoxy Mixtures for Fleabane Management
Three trials are planned to determine the most reliable herbicide options for controlling large fleabane in situations when phenoxy use is acceptable. All treatments will have a double-knock application of paraquat.
6. Mungbean Herbicide Screen
Four trials are planned to evaluate the crop safety of a range of herbicides in mungbeans.  This is a continuation of a project commenced in 2011/12 screening for potential registration candidates.
7. Mungbean Powdery Mildew Management
An evaluation of fungicide efficacy for powdery mildew control in mungbeans. Four trials will evaluate product choice, application timing as well as crop safety.
8. Sorghum Fungicides 
Six trials are planned to evaluate the economics of late fungicide application in sorghum for Fusarium head blight and sorghum rust management. It is expected that suitable sites will have a history of consecutive sorghum crops in recent seasons.  

NGA also have collaborative work planned looking at nutrition in sorghum and mungbean and the impact of summer crop and variety choice on root-lesion nematode multiplication.

If you have trouble opening these links our website address is

Potential for Weed Seed Management at Harvest

The increase in herbicide resistant weed species and the ‘development’ of hard to control weeds in our farming system means we need to pay more attention to weed seed bank replenishment and the potential for harvest management of weed seeds. The link below is to a recent DAFF/QAAFI survey to help identify the possible fit for harvest weed seed management options, including the Harrington Seed Destructor.

Potential for Weed Seed Management at Harvest

Pre-harvest Management of Staygreen Sorghum

In 2007-08 and 2008-09 NGA conducted a series of 9 trials investigating sorghum spray-out timing. The conclusions from this work were fairly clear. Firstly identify heads of the latest maturity considered ‘economic to take to harvest’. Secondly ensure black layer formation has occurred in the ‘bottom third’ of these heads prior to spraying out. Going too early can incur significant yield and grain quality penalties with soil moisture conservation benefits secondary to crop yield. At our April meeting in Goondiwindi, the issue of spray-out management of staygreen sorghum varieties was raised. The first link below will take you to trial information generated by Pioneer, evaluating hybrids with varying levels of staygreen. The second link is to the full summary of NGA spray-out timing activity in 2007-08 and 2008-09. 

Pre-harvest Management of Staygreen Sorghums

NGA Sorghum Spray-out Timing (Complete Summary)

Copyright © 2012 Northern Grower Alliance, All rights reserved.

NGA Wedding Bells

Congratulations to NGA Trials Agronomist, RACHEL HERRON, who was married on the 15th of September. Rachel and her new husband, Leigh Norton, who is an agronomist for B&W Rural based in North Star, have almost completed building their new house in Goondiwindi and are looking forward to settling in.

New Staff Member

BRENDAN BURTON has recently joined NGA in the role of Project Manager. Brendan completed his B.Rur.Sc at UNE in 1998 and spent the next eight years in commercial agronomy; 4 years based at both Gunnedah and at Pittsworth. Recently Brendan has spent 2 years as a Research Agronomist, heavily involved in crop nutrition trial activity including the long term Incitec Pivot site at Colonsay on the Darling Downs. Brendan will provide NGA with an increased capacity for the conduct and management of larger scale trial evaluation as well as providing additional expertise in nutritional projects.

Brendan's contact details are -
Mob:  0428 979 170

Google Chrome Issues Resolved

In the last newsletter we highlighted some issues with opening attachments using the Google Chrome browser. These have been rectified. If you have difficulties with any of our communications please contact us at:

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