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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 44(10)

Grain grower perceptions and use of integrated weed management

R. S. Llewellyn A B C, R. K. Lindner A, D. J. Pannell A, S. B. Powles B

A School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
B Western Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.
C Corresponding author. Email: rllewell@agric.uwa.edu.au
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Greater adoption of integrated weed management, to reduce herbicide reliance, is an objective of many research and extension programmes. In Australian grain-growing regions, integrated weed management is particularly important for the management of herbicide resistance in weeds. In this study, survey data from personal interviews with 132 Western Australian grain growers are used to characterise the use and perceptions of integrated weed management practices. The main objective was to identify opportunities for improved weed management decision making, through targeted research and extension. The extent to which integrated weed management practices are used on individual farms was measured. Perceptions of the efficacy and reliability of various weed management practices were elicited for control of annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaud.), along with perceptions of the economic value of integrated weed management practices relative to selective herbicides. All growers were shown to be using several integrated weed management practices, although the use of some practices was strongly associated with the presence of a herbicide-resistant weed population. In general, both users and non-users were found to have high levels of awareness of integrated weed management practices and their weed control efficacy. Herbicide-based practices were perceived to be the most cost-effective. Opportunities for greater adoption of integrated weed management practices, to conserve the existing herbicide resource, exist where practices can be shown to offer greater shorter-term economic value, not necessarily just in terms of weed control, but to the broader farming system.

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