Weed infestations can be a major problem for farmers and agriculturalists, as they can quickly overrun your farm or agricultural property if not kept in check. Weeds have a significant negative impact on agricultural business by reducing crop and pasture yields, severely reducing land productivity. In order to reduce lost production, as well as wasted time and money, a smart and precise approach to weed control is required. In this article we will discuss weed control methods that work best for farms and agricultural properties.
How do weeds affect farms and agricultural properties?
Pests, crop diseases, and weeds pose a serious risk for primary producers like farmers as they can have a seriously negative impact on agricultural production. In Australia, it has been estimated that weeds cost $2.5 billion dollars per year in lost agricultural production. Additionally, it has been estimated by the CSIRO that the average expenditure on weed control, including herbicide and non-herbicide practices, is $113/ha which can represent a substantial investment for those with larger properties.
How do farmers remove weeds?
There are many different options for removing and controlling weeds, and they can be best split into two categories; proactive weed management and reactive weed management. Proactive weed management techniques include the following:
Mulch provides a physical layer above the soil that can stop weed seeds from falling onto fertile soil. If weed seeds can’t reach the soil, they can’t grow. Mulch also regulates moisture and temperature, reducing the ideal weed-growing climate.
Cover cropping is popular for hobby farms and market gardens, but its use is currently being explored by the CSIRO for use on larger properties. Cover crops decrease weed and disease levels, while also improving soil organic carbon, structure and health. Reactive weed management methods are probably the most commonly thought of when asking what do farmers use to kill weeds. These include:
Weed Spraying and Herbicide Application
Weed spraying with herbicides plays a vital role in any weed management plan and are proven to be the most efficient and cost-effective methods of weed control for farmers and agriculturalists. Herbicides are chemicals that work to kill weeds by affecting their enzyme systems, interfering with their growth process, replacing their hormones, or blocking their chemical reactions.Some herbicides act on contact with the plant, while other types need to be translocated through the plant’s system. There is lots of different equipment you can use for farm spraying, depending on what kind of weeds you are trying to control, your property accessibility as well as the size of your property. These can include boom sprayers, hand guns, knapsacks, and aerial sprayers amongst others. It is important to remember that herbicides can have harmful effects on human health, livestock health, as well as potentially detrimental effects on the environment, so extreme care needs to be taken and application instructions need to be followed very carefully.
Spot treating is common for those with smaller properties or those whose weed infestations are still very manageable. Spot treatments can include treating individual weeds with herbicides, chipping, and hand roguing to eliminate smaller weed infestations before the spread out of control.
Pre-sowing cultivation can kill a wide-range of weeds, including herbicide resistant populations. It also reduces reliance on knockdown herbicides and by doing so, the likelihood of weed developing herbicide resistance.Cultivation is useful as a ‘once-off’ tactic to achieve effective weed control in reduced tillage or no-tillage farming operations, but dependance on cultivation as your main weed control method can increase erosion risk, degrade the soil structure and reduce soil moisture retention.
Need additional help for your weed control?
Trust the experts, Rencon Air & Land. Weed issues can quickly change from a small annoyance to a major problem for many farmers and agriculturalists. If you are searching for what weed killer do farmers use, let us make the job easier for you! At Rencon Air & Land, our experienced team is trained not only to treat the weed problem but also to reduce the chance of return. We take the time to understand your concerns and provide recommendations on how to improve your weed control measures for the future. Our tried and tested weed control methods are conducted using the best equipment available and our certified and licensed operators have years of commercial weed spraying experience in the Agricultural and Forestry industries. To learn more about what we can offer, call us direct on 1300 RENCON (736 266) or get in touch with us here.