Overwatch® Herbicide has been used to control ryegrass and other weeds in barley, canola and faba beans on the property of John Heard, at Tooan, in Western Victoria.
Mr Heard runs a mixed enterprise growing crops of canola, barley, wheat, faba beans and lentils, and grazing Merino sheep on ryegrass and clover pastures.
He said the option to move between cropping and livestock worked well as the ability to graze stubbles and moving from one system to the other helps in the control of problem weeds.
“If we see a bit of an explosion of weed numbers, we'll take them out for Balansa clover and maybe cut hay or run sheep. For the cropping we usually start with a legume, whether it’s Balansa clover or faba beans then rotate to canola followed by a cereal.”
“If the paddock’s clean enough, we’ll go back-to-back with a cereal and then rotate to a legume of some sort.”
Mr Heard said the crop rotations along with the herbicides that we are now using are working well. Our system is enabling us to stay on top of ryegrass.
“I'm wary of ryegrass, and if you let it go you'll get a problem very quickly. But if I think I’m only just in front of it, I'm not afraid to pull a paddock out for a couple of years. If you're losing the race, then change it up."
In all crops, pre-emergent herbicides are the mainstay of the ryegrass control program.
“If we don't get it pre-sowing, you're chasing your tail all season,” Mr Heard said. “In canola Select* Herbicide (clethodim) is running out of puff and so is Intervix* to a certain degree.”
“The likes of Overwatch® Herbicide and Sakura* are where we are now to get the bulk of our ryegrass control in our cereals."
In 2021, Overwatch® Herbicide was used in barley, in a tough year for establishing crops.
“It was not a good year to get crops up,” Mr Heard said. “We didn't get a break until mid-June, so the seed sat in the ground for quite a while and then it got awfully wet. It just didn't stop raining and the crops looked quite checked as a result.
“However, come harvest time it yielded well, and there wasn’t any ryegrass explosion whatsoever, so that was good.”
In 2022 using Overwatch® Herbicide on canola and faba beans also proved to be an excellent decision.
“I used Overwatch® on canola and beans instead of propyzamide as there was a bit of a shortage of that product,” Mr Heard said. “Overwatch® was at a similar cost and provided a broader spectrum of weed control."
“Operating a knifepoint press wheel seeding system, we've found Overwatch® quite safe to use in front of canola. We applied Overwatch® Herbicide with glyphosate and some Lorsban*. It mixed well and passed through our 50 mesh filters without issue."
He said the ability of Overwatch® Herbicide to be used across multiple crops means you can use it where you see its best fit within a rotation. It’s another tool I can employ to not only manage the ryegrass but to also help keep other herbicides working for longer”.
It’s doing the job I need and I know I’ll be using it again next year."