Herbicide resistance in lucerne seed production systems in the southeast of South Australia

  • 24 pages

  • Published: 4 Mar 2024

  • Author(s): Peter Boutsalis, Katrina Copping

  • ISBN: 978-1-76053-472-1

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Temperate pasture seed production is concentrated in locations within southeastern Australia and southwestern Western Australia. Lucerne dominates, accounting for about 75% of the area sown and 60% of certified pasture seed produced.

The Australian lucerne seed industry is worth an estimated $95 million per annum and is made up of more than 250 farms producing seed in irrigated and dryland production systems for both domestic and export markets.

The AgriFutures Pasture Seeds Program supports industry sustainability and profitability through effective research and development leading to on-farm adoption. A key Program goal is improved weed management in leviable temperate pasture seed species, achieved through supporting the development of integrated weed management (IWM) strategies.

Lucerne seed growers consistently rank weed management as a major production issue as it is vital to achieving good seed yields, meeting seed certification requirements and being profitable. Annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum), barley grass (Hordeum spp.) and sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus) are major and widespread weeds of lucerne seed crops. In recent years, grower feedback has been that these weeds may have evolved resistance to commonly used herbicides.

This project conducted herbicide resistance testing using common herbicides on these three key weeds. Importantly, it identified the extent of herbicide resistance in these weeds and delivered knowledge that can underpin the development of IWM strategies to maintain a sustainable and profitable industry. The strategies and the resources will be updated on an ongoing basis as new knowledge becomes available, as herbicide resistance and mitigation strategies are ever-evolving.

For more information on weed management in lucerne, visit the Lucerne Australia website.