The Leucaena Network has recently gained approval for an additional extension of the permit to use herbicides containing Imazethapyr (eg Spinnaker 700WDG ® or similar products) in leucaena plantations through to March 2018.
The permit extension allows leucaena growers to legally use an effective herbicide to control broadleaf and grass weeds that can significantly impact establishment rate or stunt early growth of leucaena plants.
The Leucaena Network’s Executive Officer Michael Burgis said there were no guarantees that the permit will be re-issued in 2018 without further research and development trials by either herbicide companies or by the Network.
“Herbicides containing Imazethapyr are growers and agronomists’ product of choice for controlling broadleaf weeds and a selection of grasses at the critical leucaena sowing and establishment phase. There are no other registered products,” he said.
“Imazethapyr has revolutionised leucaena establishment and production, transforming leucaena from one of the most difficult and unreliable legumes to establish, to one that can be consistently established under a range of climatic conditions.
“Industry specialists believe registration of this herbicide active as one of the contributing factors in the exponential adoption of leucaena by the beef industry in the last decade.”
With the support of MLA, Agforce and the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, The Leucaena Network has produced an industry Best Management Code of Conduct that promotes the responsible growing of leucaena, and clearly outlines the importance of controlling plants that establish away from stock in environmentally sensitive areas.
To further environmental stewardship, The Network is undertaking a series of chemical trials, in collaboration with AgForce and Dow Agro Science, to seek and obtain registration of additional herbicides for the management of wild and unwanted leucaena plants. This work will support and encourage further leucaena plantings across Queensland, especially in the more sensitive environmental coastal regions which have significant potential for the beef industry.
“Education and proper control of escaped leucaena is paramount to a continuing industry,” Michael said.
Source: The Leucaena Network, Meat & Livestock Australia. More information: www.leucaena.net
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