The versatile Overwatch® Herbicide has been used in multiple crops in the past two seasons on the property of Darren Pilgrim at Bordertown, South Australia.
Mr Pilgrim farms 700 hectares just north of Bordertown and rotates canola, faba beans and wheat as the main crops.
Since the launch of the product in 2021, he has used Overwatch® Herbicide in all three crops, targeting a range of weed types.
“First year in we used Overwatch® on wheat and canola,” Mr Pilgrim said. This year for the first time we've used it on faba beans with some very pleasing results."
Ryegrass is the major weed targeted in these crops, with bifora also a focus. Overwatch® Herbicide is applied with trifluralin, which helps sort out any fumitory issues.
Mr Pilgrim said new options had helped with ryegrass control, and he was particularly pleased with a paddock of canola treated with Overwatch® Herbicide from 2021 which was rotated into wheat the following season.
He said the excellent weed control from Overwatch® Herbicide in canola allowed him to use Mateno# Complete herbicide in the wheat.
“The combination of the two chemicals, over a couple of years, has been outstanding."
“It’s a bit of a numbers game. Just keeping the plant population down as much as we can and, between those two products, particularly the Overwatch®, which we're doing really well at the minute, it’s been very successful."
“We are just trying to mix things up a bit to keep resistance down and keep the ryegrass confused, just to stop it building that tolerance. Overwatch® is a completely new chemical, which no weed has ever seen before, so it's working really well."
Mr Pilgrim said the ability of Overwatch® Herbicide to control weeds in faba beans was particularly exciting.
Darren Pilgrim, of Bordertown, SA, used Overwatch® Herbicide successfully on wheat, canola and barley for ryegrass and bifora control.
“It’s the agronomist’s job to tell us to give it a go and we obviously went with it. I was probably sceptical of it for a start, but it’s been very good and probably the cleanest we've grown beans in a long time. It's working a treat."
He liked the way Overwatch® Herbicide turned the ryegrass a pink colour before controlling it and continued to work through the season.
“We would certainly see the little pink ryegrass and it seems to last the distance. Ryegrass takes it in and is basically nuked, so you can actually see that it works.”
“For that three-month period, it works all the way through which gives you good control and allows your crop to get away without weed competition.”
Overwatch® Herbicide can cause some crop bleaching under certain circumstances and Mr Pilgrim said they had noticed some effect in the headlands of the crop.
“We run 12-inch spacings and we would just get a little bit of soil throw on the headlands. Once we'd come out of those areas there wasn’t any bleaching whatsoever. It all grew out of it and there wasn’t any yield penalty there at all."
Seed is planted using knife-point press wheels and the speed is brought back to eight kilometres per hour to minimize the soil throw into the furrow.
A typical crop rotation on the property is faba beans, canola and wheat, although wheat occasionally follows faba beans to maximise protein.
“We'll certainly use Overwatch® every year but not back on the same paddock. We don't want to overuse it, so we will position it in one part of the rotation. I think we'll probably try to use it a bit more on our canola or our beans.”