Vigilence needed against glyphosate resistance

27 Jun, 2009 02:00 AM
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With 87 sites across Australia now confirmed with glyphosate resistant ryegrass, the fight against its spread in Western Australia is becoming an imperative.

The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) has been a leader in the battle against glyphosate resistance, supporting research into practical means of defeating the problem.

Weed consultant, Andrew Storrie, from Agronomo, stresses that while WA’s dry summers work in its favour, with less glyphosate use than in eastern Australia, the potential for increased use, if Roundup Ready canola crops were widely grown, could pose problems.

“However, if growers remain vigilant, do some planning and stay on the ball, glyphosate resistance needn’t be a big issue,” Mr Storrie said.

He stresses that growers need to pay particular attention to firebreaks and fence lines, which can harbour glyphosate resistant weeds.

“Resistance can appear in areas with little competition, like fence lines and firebreaks and can be dragged into the cropped area with harvest and seeding equipment.

“A total vegetation control approach, using herbicides with different modes of action is effective and needn’t be expensive.

“Paraquat, diuron and simazine can control resistant and susceptible annual ryegrass.

“A handful of resistant plants can become a problem if nothing is done about them, so vigilance is important. Small numbers of plants can be hand-pulled and there is no plant resistance to this.”

Mr Storrie says there are currently 8-10 populations of glyphosate resistant ryegrass in WA.

“It’s a problem that could increase if climate change brings increased summer rainfall, so it’s essential that we keep control over the problem, now.”

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READER COMMENTS

brett sanders
27/06/2009 5:41:41 PM

And Roundup Ready GM plants are about to be unleashed on the environment, creating a massive use increase of this damaging chemical... Not very smart really...
bill
29/06/2009 1:20:57 PM

Yeah but Monsanto profit is way more important than than farmers or mutant weeds or anything else.
Bob Phelps
29/06/2009 2:09:04 PM

Glyphosate (Roundup) tolerant GM canola will inevitably worsen existing superweed problems as it has done in North America. Public and grower funded, the GRDC is the most vigorous promoter of GM canola, working with Croplife (peak body of the GM and agrichemical giants) and the NFF. They jointly fund Agrifood Awareness that has the role of promoting GM crops. GRDC also wastes a lot on GM research and development. This story seeks to put responsibility for preventing the inevitable on to individual growers. That's not fair or reasonable. Last August, California's governor Arnold Schwarzenneger passed a law to stop GM giants suing farmers for the inevitable contamination of crops with patented genes. Yet our governments have left Australian farmers unprotected. Banning GM canola is government responsibility and they should do it!
Zero till
29/06/2009 6:57:35 PM

Is never ending tillage and diesel your alternative brett? Watch your top soil blow away...Not very smart really...
Merri Bee
29/06/2009 9:02:43 PM

Roundup use has increased 15 fold in America since GM crops were introduced, superweeds which are resistant to glyphosate are over taking vast tracts causing farmers to walk off their land. When will we learn from history?
Greg Revell
30/06/2009 3:42:37 PM

More insidiously, RoundUp weed resistance in the US is so rampant since the introduction of GM crops that farmers have been advised to apply the old fashioned 2,4D and 3,6D herbicides such as Dicamba. Sales of these chemicals have spiked in recent years. So guess what's on the horizon? Yep - Dicamba-Ready GM crops! Duh ....
Jaycie
1/07/2009 10:06:36 AM

Notice how the price of Roundup has skysrocketed since the advent of Roundup Ready crops? The above information regarding Roundup and the fact Monsanto sues the farmers whose crops become contaminated with their products for unlicensed use is why most farmers in the know are angry with the Minister responsible and apprehensive about the legal outcomes as well as the potential loss of non GM markets. The current government should remember they are where thery are by default, we still remember how they let people down with the investment scandal and the silly idea of a canal from the north - any farmer would tell youu the evporation would have been colossal and the contamination from delighted wildlife immense. It was anger at Labor's arrogance that got them in, not their inherent abilities and the GM fiasco has illustrated that we were right to be concerned. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! Of course, contamination suits Monsanto, if they can eliminate the non GM markets they have all farmers at their mercy.
Ray Robinson
26/07/2009 11:35:59 PM, on Farm Weekly

How would we know if GM Canola is truly the answer to our woes if we are 100% reliant on Monsanto to supply us with the seed and the herbicide. Have people forgotten about poor Percy Schmeiser? What have Monsanto done to redeem themselves from their atrocious treatment of Percy and countless others in North America. Monsanto has a proven track record of pointing the finger squarely at you and me - the grower, when their product does not perform according to their claims. I do not understand why we would want a company who behaves like Monsanto does to corner and control our GM Canola farming practices and markets. I would let the wind take my land before I let Monsanto have it.

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