This article is sponsored by CRT.
GROWERS in the Darling Downs region are reporting greater residual control over broadleaf weeds and volunteer legumes.
For Kev Roberts, who farms 20 kilometres east of Dalby, having better residual control in fallow means a smoother transition from winter to summer crops, which is integral to the success of the family’s overall business.
The Roberts family operates a mixed cropping and livestock enterprise on 2,000 hectares, as well as an 18,000-head custom feedlot, ‘Sandalwood Feedlot’. They also run 100 Angus breeders.
The cropping program comprises 800 to 1,000ha of summer crop, either forage sorghum or grain sorghum, and a similar sized winter crop, varying between wheat, barley and oats.
Cropping is predominantly dryland, although they do have an 1,100 megalitre ring tank that captures overland flow, feeding two pivot irrigators, however there has been no overland flow for the last four years.
Most of the family’s cropping program is used to supply the feedlot.
“Our main enterprise is grain sorghum in the summer, which we use in the feedlot, and in the winter we grow a lot of cereal silage and make a lot of hay,” Mr Roberts said.
“We haven’t sold grain off the farm for more than six years.”
After harvesting their winter crop, Mr Roberts said they would spray and fallow certain paddocks over the summer in preparation for cropping the following winter.
Three years ago, he said they introduced a new herbicide into their fallow spray mix with excellent results.
“We started using Stinger after it was recommended by our agronomist, Andrew Johnston from Dalby Rural Supplies. He knows what he’s doing and our operation, so we follow his recommendations pretty closely,” Mr Roberts said.
“We use it after our winter harvest to target a wide variety of summer broadleaf weeds.”
Stinger, created by Dow AgroSciences, is a broad-spectrum herbicide offering greater residual control due to its combination of metsulfuron-methyl and aminopyralid.
When tank-mixed with glyphosate for a post-winter fallow spray, it controls volunteer legumes, thistles and a range of other broadleaf weeds.
Stinger provides enhanced thistle control and exceptional activity on volunteer legumes, including chickpeas and faba beans.
“We have found Stinger does an excellent job on those broadleaf weeds and we’ve been happy with its performance,” Mr Roberts said.
“We’ve been using it at 12 grams/ha in a mix with glyphosate and before we introduced Stinger, we used a straight metsulfuron-methyl and glyphosate mix.
Stinger certainly has the extra residual and that’s what gets us through the summer months.
The extra residual control is one of the main reasons why Dalby Rural Supplies senior agronomist and director Andrew Johnston recommended Stinger to Mr Roberts.
Mr Johnston said metsulfuron-methyl was a commonly used product in the region, so when Dow AgroSciences released Stinger, he knew it would be an effective option for many due to the addition of aminopyralid.
He said he recommended Stinger to clients for use in targeting a range of broadleaf weeds, but he was also noticing better control of fleabane.
“We’ll use it post-emergent, in-crop on cereals in a mix with 2,4-D or 75-D and I’ll also tend to use it post-harvest for that good residual through summer,” Mr Johnston said.
“That will allow us to go back into winter cereals again or fallow through the summer.
“The aminopyralid in Stinger gives us a more robust product, with greater residual, and we have seen more efficacy on fleabane, which is a big issue in our area.
“Metsulfuron-methyl is one of the cheapest, most effective chemicals on the market and mixed with aminopyralid, it makes it even more effective.
“While that may raise the cost per hectare slightly, the value you get from the combined chemistry mitigates the slight extra cost and you’re also introducing new chemistry to the mix,” he said.
This article is sponsored by CRT.