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RESEARCH ARTICLE

Tolerance of perennial pasture grass seedlings to pre- and post-emergent grass herbicides

B. S. Dear A B , G. A. Sandral A and B. C. D. Wilson A

A EH Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (NSW Department of Primary Industries and Charles Sturt University), Agricultural Institute, PMB, Pine Gully Road, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

B Charles Sturt University, School of Agriculture and Veterinary Science, Barooma Street, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: brian.dear@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 46(5) 637-644 https://doi.org/10.1071/EA04173
Submitted: 16 August 2004  Accepted: 24 January 2005   Published: 12 May 2006

Abstract

The tolerance of 5 perennial grasses during the seedling stage to pre- and post-emergent grass herbicides was examined in 3 glasshouse experiments. The perennial grass species screened were phalaris, (Phalaris aquatica L.), cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata L.), wallaby grass [Austrodanthonia richardsonii (Cashm.) H.P. Linder], perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) were included as non-target species and annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin) and oats (Avena spp.) as representatives of typical weed species.

Herbicides evaluated were fluazifop-p, tralkoxydim, diclofop-methyl, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl, fenoxaprop-p-ethyl + pyrazoline, sethoxydim, flamprop-m-methyl, quizalofop-p-ethyl, clethodim, simazine, imazethapyr, propyzamide, carbetamide, clodinafop-propargyl + cloquintocet-mexyl, propaquizafop, atrazine, trifluralin, triallate, pendimethalin, metribuzin, trifluralin + oryzalin, cyanazine, chlorsulfuron and triasulfuron. Herbicide phytotoxicity was assessed 15 and 30 days after post-emergent herbicide application using the European Weed Research Committee (EWRC) visual score of leaf damage (1 indicating no effect, 9 indicating all plants dead) and plant herbage yield depression relative to the unsprayed control. Plant responses to pre-emergent herbicides were assessed 45 days after sowing.

Most herbicides were highly phytotoxic (EWRC score 4–9) to the perennial grass seedlings. However, atrazine, flamprop-m-methyl, imazethapyr, fenoxaprop-ethyl, and triallate caused less severe phytotoxicity (EWRC score 1–4) in phalaris, fescue, cocksfoot and perennial ryegrass from which they could be expected to recover, with yield reductions of between 0 and 45%, 30 days after spraying. Simazine caused yield losses of 20–50% in fescue, phalaris and perennial ryegrass which may be acceptable in swards with high weed burdens. Wallaby grass showed tolerance to flamprop-m-methyl, carbetamide, propyzamide and imazethapyr.

Subterranean clover was tolerant of most herbicides with yield losses less than 20% except for the post-emergent herbicides simazine and atrazine, and the pre-emergent herbicides triasulfuron, metribuzin, cyanazine and chlorsulfuron where yield suppression was between 50 and 99%.


Acknowledgments

The authors thank Charles Sturt University for use of the automated spraying cabinet for application of the herbicides, Ms B Vogel for the experimental designs and the referees for their editing and helpful suggestions.


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