NSW DPI weed researchers Eric Koetz (CottonInfo Technical Lead for Weed Management) and Graham Charles have just returned from the Northern Territory and the Ord region of WA after conducting a baseline weed survey of cotton crops.

The trip was part of a CRDC funded project (DAN2302) to gain a better understanding of current weed numbers in fields. To develop a “site specific” crop management plan for cotton grown in Norther Australia there is a need to identify any weed issues and concerns growers are facing in their fields. This was the second visit to the area to survey fields and reinforced the need to conduct surveys across several seasons to monitor how growers cope with different wet seasons.

Eric and Graham met with local consultants and growers and discussed weed management and the challenges they are facing in a tropical environment.  

Eric reports that herbicide resistance is already an issue with a few problematic weeds and other tools need to be considered for control. Sampling across seasons will allow researchers to monitor weed numbers and determine if current practices are robust or if different strategies need to be rolled out.

"In other words, we want to know if weed numbers are increasing within fields or are they declining or remaining stable," Eric said.

"This will provide valuable information to a crop management plan for the emerging norther cotton industry."