GROWING GOOD CROPS WITH
All we need is herbicides
How good are all these new herbicides!
We thought resistance was going to bugger our farming system, and the experts told us there’d be no new herbicides to solve our problems.
But the experts were wrong, the herbicides have arrived just in time, and they’re awesome.
And they cost a King’s ransom.
And some of them stitched up my crop.
And I have confused myself by adopting all of them at once and I can’t remember where I put them all. Which ones have plantback issues?
Note to self: The best time to adopt a new herbicide is when it gets cheap as it comes off patent, and the pioneers have ironed out the wrinkles already.
If only I had a low weed seed bank that’s exactly what I’d do!
It’s true. If you’re willing to spend enough money on herbicides, you could probably continuous crop for a decade or more, and stay on top of your weeds.
Or, you could set yourself a strategy of keeping the cheap herbicides working.
A herbicide patent typically lasts about 20 years, but a company will generally patent the product a few years before it’s available to farmers to avoid another company beating them to it. By the time a new product is available it has about 10 to 15 years of patent left.
Let’s take a look at Sakura®. It was first released in Australia in 2012, and has just come off patent in 2022. We haven’t seen dirt cheap Sakura® yet, but it will come. If you were a grower with large seed banks of multiple resistant ryegrass in 2012, you would have been first on the Sakura® bandwagon and you would have been loving the music. Sakura essentially fixed your problems, and life was simple and good...
Here we are in 2022, and the growers who were first on that bandwagon are nearly ready to jump off as resistance is starting to bite. Amazing how that seems to happen just as a herbicide comes off patent. Fortunately, new products have arrived just in time to keep you in the game, and for $50 odd per hectare, the world is your oyster.
Then there’s the grower who put her eggs in a few baskets. They used a combination of herbicides with mechanical and cultural weed control tools. Her ryegrass seed bank is low, and she’s only used a couple of shots of Sakura.
Now is her time to shine. A good crop rotation, along with cheap Sakura, mixed with even cheaper trifluralin, along with a competitive crop, and a Seed Terminator will keep her going for a decade when the next round of products come off patent. Ching ching!
We know the Seed Terminator comes at a cost, and we’re confident that using a mix of herbicide, mechanical and cultural weed control will keep you cropping for a long time. None of these things alone will be the complete solution, and it’s definitely the long game, but we know it works.