Online wizard spells success against weeds | My Machinery
CASE Agriculture
Online wizard spells success against weeds

Growers can now access an online tool to manage weed seed banks on the Department of Agriculture and Food’s new grains information website. Weed Seed Wizard was developed by a collaborative team from the Department of Agriculture and Food, the University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide, the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry in Queensland and funded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation. Department Grains Industry Executive Director Peter Metcalfe said weeds could significantly reduce growers’ productivity and profitability. “This project is part of a national research and development strategy, being led by the department,” Mr Metcalfe said. “This online innovation has been developed to enable growers to make more informed decisions with confidence and to provide a more profitable return. “The Weed Seed Wizard tool has the potential to reduce growers’ reliance on herbicides, increase crop yields and improve their profit.” Growers can use the Weed Seed Wizard model to investigate management strategies, such as harvest seed management and burning windrows or changing their rotation and positive impact of different seeding rates. Department research officer Alex Douglas said growers can input weather data, soil types and the starting value for each weed they want to investigate, along with information about their past weed management to evaluate various scenarios without the need to physically conduct costly trials. “This information will give great insight into what practises they can introduce or change to manage their weed seed bank,” Ms Douglas said. “The Wizard can be tuned to fit any paddock and uses paddock management information to predict weed emergence and crop losses in current and future years. “It enables you to change a few things online to see whether it makes a difference or not — without having to outlay money for lengthy trials. “Weed Seed Wizard is more powerful than any other tool currently available as more than one weed species can be tested at a time.”

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