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Harvest Weed Seed Control Systems are Similarly Effective on Rigid Ryegrass

  • Michael J. Walsh (a1), Charlotte Aves (a2) and Stephen B. Powles (a3)


Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems have been developed to exploit the high proportions of seed retained at maturity by the annual weeds rigid ryegrass, wild radish, bromegrass, and wild oats. To evaluate the efficacy of HWSC systems on rigid ryegrass populations, three systems, the Harrington Seed Destructor (HSD), chaff carts, and narrow-windrow burning were compared at 24 sites across the western and southern wheat production regions of Australia. HWSC treatments were established at harvest (Nov. – Dec.) in wheat crops with low to moderate rigid ryegrass densities (1 to 26 plants m−2). Rigid ryegrass counts at the commencement of the next growing season (Apr. – May) determined that HWSC treatments were similarly effective in reducing emergence. Chaff carts, narrow-windrow burning, or HSD systems act similarly on rigid ryegrass seed collected during harvest to deliver substantial reductions in subsequent rigid ryegrass populations by restricting seedbank inputs. On average, population densities were reduced by 60%, but there was considerable variation between sites (37 to 90%) as influenced by seed production and the residual seedbank. Given the observed high rigid ryegrass seed production levels at crop maturity it is clear that HWSC has a vital role in preventing seedbank inputs in Australian conservation cropping systems.

Los sistemas de control de semilla durante la cosecha (HWSC) han sido desarrollados para explotar las altas proporciones de semilla retenida en la madurez por las malezas anuales Lolium rigidum, Raphanus raphanistrum, Bromus spp., y Avena fatua. Para evaluar la eficacia de los sistemas HWSC sobre poblaciones de L. rigidum, se compararon tres sistemas: el destructor de semilla Harrington (HSD), carretas de captura de paja, y quema de residuos acumulados en hileras, en 24 sitios a lo largo del oeste y el sur de las regiones productoras de trigo de Australia. Los tratamientos HWSC fueron establecidos durante la cosecha (Nov. −Dec.) en cultivos de trigo con densidades de plantas de L. rigidum de bajas a moderadas (1 a 26 plantas m−2). Los conteos de L. rigidum al inicio de la siguiente temporada de crecimiento (Abr. −Mayo) determinaron que los tratamientos HWSC fueron similarmente efectivos para reducir la emergencia. Las carretas de captura de paja, la quema de residuos en hileras, o HSD actuaron en forma similar al colectar la semilla de L. rigidum durante la cosecha y para generar reducciones sustanciales en las poblaciones subsiguientes, al restringir el ingreso de semilla nueva al banco de semillas. En promedio, la densidad de las poblaciones se redujo en 60%, pero hubo una variación considerable entre sitios (37 a 90%) dependiendo de la producción de semilla y del banco de semillas residual. Con base en los altos niveles de producción de semilla de L. rigidum observados al momento de la madurez del cultivo, es claro que HWSC juega un rol vital para prevenir el ingreso de semillas al banco de semillas en los sistemas de cultivos de conservación Australianos.


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Associate Editor for this paper: Andrew Kniss, University of Wyoming.



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