Riverine Plains Blog

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Crop Management (3)

Getting proactive on slugs

Key Messages

  • Know what you’re dealing with – monitor, monitor, monitor 
  • Soil moisture data can help predict when slugs will become active 
  • Biological controls can be useful  
  • Bait at sowing and approximately four weeks later if required 
  • Vigour and speed of establishment in canola is important 
  • Key factors of bait efficacy are chance of encounter and consumption of active 

Slugs are one of the main establishment pests in the Riverine Plains, along with earwigs, slaters, millipedes, wireworms, and mice. The first step to controlling any of these pests, particularly slugs, is knowing what you are dealing with. 

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Making the most of dual purpose crops

Key messages

  • Dual purpose winter crops can help fill the autumn–winter feed gap
  • While there is currently a full moisture profile, a dry topsoil and potentially dry autumn may impact establishment
  • Be mindful of soil temperature and available soil moisture when sowing early (February–March)
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Are your soils under-performing?

Key messages

  • Understanding the scale and depth of soil constraints is key to an effective amelioration program
  • Incremental sampling to depth provides more information than traditional 0-10 cm tests
  • Seek advice before beginning an amelioration program

Summer and early autumn provides an opportunity for Riverine Plains farmers to treat soil constraints, such as acidity and sodicity, between winter crops.

So, what are the issues to consider?

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Stop the drift: preventing off-target herbicide damage this summer

Key Messages

  • Phenoxy herbicides can cause significant off-target damage to susceptible summer crops
  • Volatilisation of herbicide from the treated plant occurs more frequently during summer, when temperatures are higher
  • Before using volatile herbicides, check with your neighbours about proximity to susceptible summer crops
  • Always check with your agronomist to see if there are less volatile alternative products available

Non-intentional herbicide drift from Group I herbicides such as 2,4-D and other compounds occurs regularly across Australia, with cotton, grapes, soybeans, sorghum, forage brassicas, horticultural crops (i.e tomatoes) and other broadleaf species being especially susceptible.

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Options for storing higher moisture grain

Key Messages:

  • High-moisture grain is not safe to store without aeration or drying, but can be temporarily held in silos with aeration cooling before being dried or blended
  • It’s important to regularly monitor stored grain temperatures to avoid spoilage
  • Do not store high moisture grain infected with fungi or moulds

With wet and cool weather continuing to complicate harvest, growers may be thinking about their options for managing higher moisture grain (either this year or in future seasons).

So, what are the key things to consider?

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