The impact of weed seeds on sheep production for different sheep genotypes
Seed contamination in sheep carcasses by barley grass: an analysis of prevalence, economic impact and management.
Seed contamination of sheep presents considerable animal welfare concerns and incurs significant costs to Australian sheep meat producers and processors. Barley grass (Hordeum spp. Link.) is a key perpetrator, increasing in prevalence across southern Australia, while also exhibiting herbicide resistance to glyphosate and other post-emergent grass herbicides (Shergill, Malone, Boutsalis, Preston, & Gill, 2015). Additionally, variable seed dormancy patterns in response to environmental changes have been noted, resulting in increased potential for seed contamination in these regions. Little information exists regarding the regional severity of seed contamination across Australia, specific associations with weed distribution patterns and the impact of climate variability. The impact of integrating common control strategies, density dependent variation in Hordeum spp. populations and costs associated with seed contamination also remain unknown. This project will analyse Australian abattoir, weed and climate datasets to estimate and predict regional severity of seed contamination, including weed distribution and climate impacts. Field studies will examine integrated methods for barley grass management, whilst controlled environment experiments will examine density dependent morphological variation in barley grass populations. This data will aid the development of models to identify economic thresholds for barley grass control and the subsequent management of seed contamination in lamb production systems.
Associate Professor Jane Quinn, Professor Leslie Weston Professor Karl Behrendt, Dr John Broster and Dr Paul Weston
MLA and GRDC. This investigation is closely aligned with CSU project entitled "Combating herbicide resistance using IWM strategies in the Southern Region mixed farming systems", led by Prof Leslie Weston and John Piltz (NSW DPI).
AW Howard Memorial Trust Fellowship
Charles Sturt University Orange campus grants
(Prior to CSU) - Jane Kelly (nee Mason)