Fact sheet: Smart weed control in lucerne seed production systems in Australia

  • 3 pages

  • Published: 5 Mar 2024

  • Author(s): Peter Boutsalis, Katrina Copping

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The lucerne seed industry is an important contributor to Australian agriculture, worth an estimated $95 million per year. The industry is made up of more than 250 seed production farms producing seed for both domestic and export markets, under both irrigated and dryland farming systems.

Lucerne seed production can be profitable, but it’s also a challenging and high-risk business, and growers consistently rank weed and pest management as major production issues. Herbicides are an integral part of lucerne seed production systems, providing the most efficient and cost-productive method of weed control. However, the small scale of the industry means there are only limited registered herbicide options available to control weed populations to satisfy certification requirements. Further, certification programs dictate that seedling regeneration is not permitted, with paraquat the only control option.

This fact sheet outlines weed control strategies for lucerne seed production systems to ensure the continued efficacy of the herbicides available to industry and sustainable future production.