Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Optimising weed management in conservation agriculture in south-Asia using lessons learnt from Australia

Participants at the 25th Asian-Pacific Weeds Conference, Hyderabad, India.17 October 2015

Weeds programs in RDE&T in Australia have intensified to reduce the spread of herbicide resistance (HR)  and integrate cost-effective and non-chemical (cultural and physical) options with herbicides for weed management. In contrast, many smallholder farmers in Asia are still practising aggressive tillage to grow crops. Lack of adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) is likely due to a lack of knowledge, system complexity and the need for changed mindset, availability of suitable sowing equipment and limited access to herbicide technologies. Rapid adoption of herbicides in some countries due to rising labour costs is leading to considerable risks of environmental pollution, human and animal safety and the development of HR weeds, but opportunities exist to address some of these challenges and increase the adoption of CA.

At the 25th Asian Pacific Weeds Science Society Conference, Hyderabad, India (13-16 October, 2015) Graham Centre staff and members Toni Nugent, Deirdre Lemerle and Murray Scholz (Graham Centre IAC), Michael Widderick, Principal Research Scientist, Qld Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Rick Llewellyn, CSIRO Agriculture, hosted a symposium addressing weed management in CA. Murray, Michael and Rick shared experiences and 'lessons learnt' in Australia, while representatives from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan shared their experiences, from their own countries.

Graham Centre Industry Partnerships and Communications Manager, Toni Nugent and Professor Deirdre Lemerle assist Dr Michael Widderick, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Toowoomba, explain weed seed harvest methods at the 25th Asian-Pacific Weeds Conference, Hyderabad, India. style=A key outcome from the symposium is the development of a focus group with representatives from these countries to address the challenges and opportunities for managing weeds in CA to reduce the threats of resistance and ultimately decrease weed control costs for farmers in both Asia and Australia. 

We thank ACIAR for financial support for the symposium.

Photo caption (right):

Graham Centre Industry Partnerships and Communications Manager, Toni Nugent and Professor Deirdre Lemerle assist Dr Michael Widderick, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Toowoomba, explain weed seed harvest methods at the 25th Asian-Pacific Weeds Conference, Hyderabad, India. Toni, Deirdre and Michael convened a symposium 'Weed management in conservation agriculture' as part of the conference held at Professor Jayashankar Teleangana State Agricultural University, Hyderabad 13-16 October, 2015.