Trial to compare mechanical and chemical tactics for effective crop termination of herbicide tolerant cotton
Control of cotton re-growth (ratoons) is a critical part of an insect resistance management plan, however the presence of GM tolerance to glyphosate reduces the options available to effectively control re- growth; the impending introduction of multi-herbicide tolerant cotton will further exacerbate the difficulties faced by farmers. Alternatives to standard herbicide application or increased tillage are required, especially in dryland systems seeking to minimise soil disturbance.
This project investigated a novel approach, the use of jets of extremely high water pressure to cut the stem of the plant. While water-cutting alone was not effective, the addition of an herbicide to the water produced promising results. The trials were undertaken using rudimentary ground engagement equipment however, and further work, using more robust equipment is required to assess the commercial feasibility of applying herbicides via a high-pressure water jet to control ratoon cotton.
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