In winter cropping regions, appropriate management of weeds during summer fallow can lead to a return on investment regarding soil health and productivity.

The burden of weeds during this time, however, has been shown to largely impact crop yield and enterprise revenue. So what are the top 3 weeds impacting our producers nationally during this time?

In 2014, KG2 conducted research on behalf of the Grains Research and Development Corporation in Australia, collecting primary data from 600 grain growers regarding the economic impacts of weeds (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

This national study is extremely rich and comprehensive, with the KG2 farmer database being critical for research of such scale.

In this post, we’ve drawn insights specifically from Table 24 in the final report, which gives a national ranking of summer fallow weeds by area, yield loss and revenue (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

Here are the weeds that ranked in the top 3:

1. Melons

Melons were found to be the most expensive weeds for Australian grain growers during summer fallow.

They were found to cover over 6.38 million hectares of Australian crop land during summer fallow, equating to a yield loss of 344,847t and a revenue loss of $89.6m (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

 2. Heliotrope (Potato Weed)

Heliotrope covered over 2.80 million hectares, equating to a yield loss of 313,900t and a revenue loss of $82.3m (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

3. Fleabane

Fleabane covered over 2.79 million hectares, equating to a yield loss of 173,291t and a revenue loss of $43.2m (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

An extensive market research piece: farm data insights on weed prevalence and pest management

While this is an interesting snippet from the study, the final report is over 100 pages long and details the economic impact of weeds during periods outside of summer fallow as well, breaking down farm data insights across Northern, Southern and Western regions (Llewellyn et al., 2016). The study also breaks down these insights by crop type (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

Importantly, the study also collected primary data to understand the adoption rates of various weed management practices in Australian farms, giving insight into the state of farm management in the Australian cropping Industry (Llewellyn et al., 2016).

Looking to conduct national farmer market research on weed management in Australia?

This study is extremely comprehensive and highlights the challenges farmers face in terms of pest control, management techniques and economic costs.

Farmer market research is pivotal for agribusiness stakeholders working to solve the challenges faced by the Australian food industry. It provides insight regarding farmer needs on a regional and national scale. Farm data insights derived from such research can help to inform investments, product development and information sources that are made available for the industry.

KG2 has over 25 years of experience conducting other large-scale studies with Australian agricultural producers from a range of industries including cropping, livestock and horticulture.

If you are looking to conduct research about the Australian agricultural industry for particular regions or at the national scale, get in touch today, or read more about our research services and syndicated tracking studies.

To read an updated paper on weed management, click here

SOURCE: Llewellyn RS, Ronning D, Ouzman J, Walker S, Mayfield A and Clarke M (2016) Impact of Weeds on Australian Grain Production: the cost of weeds to Australian grain growers and the adoption of weed management and tillage practices Report for GRDC. CSIRO, Australia.