One step ahead

This year's enthusiastic uptake of new Voraxor from BASF, confirmed that growers see value in increasing the spectrum for pre-em weed control to drive improved efficacy and outcomes.


RESULTS DRIVEN: Technical services manager Phil Hoult in Luximax plots at the Lake Bolac 2021 BASF High Rainfall Zone Innovation Site.


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After Dr Roberto Busi of the University of Western Australia (UWA) tested a range of pre-emergent herbicides for the control of suspected resistant annual ryegrass biotypes earlier this year he tweeted that: "Luximax appears as the most effective breaker of multiple-resistance in 2021."

That's an important finding which reinforces the value of growers extending their pre-em rotation to close previous and emerging gaps in weed coverage.

The pre-sowing application of pre-em herbicides for incorporation at sowing has become the critical window for establishing effective weed control - and especially for managing annual ryegrass numbers - in cereal crops.

This year's enthusiastic uptake of new Voraxor from BASF, a residual pre-em and knockdown broadleaf herbicide with complementary suppression activity on annual ryegrass ('ARG Assist'), confirmed that growers see value in increasing the spectrum for pre-em weed control to drive improved efficacy and outcomes.

Trial results confirm that using Voraxor as a tank-mix partner with the premium grass-weed herbicides in place of trifluralin achieves the same very high level of ARG control while also adding coverage of the key broadleaf threats.

But the real elephant in the room - or paddock - is the increase in herbicide-resistant annual ryegrass biotypes, and especially the spike in resistance to Group 15 chemistry.

ARG remains by far the most damaging and costly weed in broadacre cropping and its rapidly changing resistance profile makes the introduction of new grass-herbicide modes of action important too.

At the time of writing, Luximax was one of the only pre-em grassweed herbicides in the market for use in wheat that hadn't encountered any confirmed resistance in Australia.

The 500 randomly selected ARG samples Dr Busi used for his trials were collected from farms across South Australia, Victoria and WA, and submitted as part of the Australian Herbicide Resistance Initiative/UWA resistance testing service.


TEST: Wheat trial of Luximax plus Voraxor (left) and Sakura plus Voraxor (right).


"We already knew that Luximax's unique mode of action would control annual ryegrass biotypes with resistance to any other herbicide," BASF technical services manager Phil Hoult said.

"The big benefit of Dr Busi's extensive trial work is that it showed the difference Luximax's Group 30 MoA can make as a resistance-management tool now and into the future, either standalone or in tank-mixes with products like Voraxor or Avadex.

"We hope these latest findings will spur more agronomists and growers to add Luximax to their toolbox in 2022.

"That will both help manage confirmed or suspected resistant annual ryegrass and ensure other valuable herbicides remain viable as ryegrass resistance to Groups 3, 13 and 15 increases."

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