Cultivation and weed controll

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Member for

8 years 8 months
Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 05/01/2013 - 10:46

Cultivation and weed controll


New to this forum. My wife and I have just purchased a small property in Dublin (south Aust) and need to clean the paddocs up in preperation to top sow some pasture mix. The paddocs have a lot of weeds and I was wondering what the best way to clean them up would be? Would just putting a set of discs over it and turning everything over work or what would be a better option?

Any advice would be appreciated. 



Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 10/22/2012 - 11:13

Weed control is a long term project. Just ploughing them will not give the required results.

We monitor our weeds and:

  • mow or plough the thick areas before they seed. I think mowing is a bit better because it does not disturb the soil and stimulate another germination event from the seed bank. This uses the shade from the weeds against themselves and works quite well but timing has to be spot on
  • spray heavily infested paddocks - again timing is essential, it has to be after the bulk of germination but before seed set
  • spot spray the thinner areas
  • chip isolated plants/clumps - there is always a hoe in the back of the ute for this purpose

To set up an area for planting a crop is at least 18 months and not a quick fix.


Last seen: 03/08/2018 - 21:05
Joined: 10/20/2011 - 16:16

Hi Arron

Rob is totally on the money.

Fertiliser is very important too

Heres some old notes of mine. They're pretty comprehensive so they might be a bit overwhelming but there is a truck load of good advice in them.

New Grass Management Checklist
by Roger Martyn

Weed Control
Promoting a quick establishing seed bed is the best herbicide of the lot.
Working fertiliser into the seed bed (not just on top) prior to sowing will promote pasture seedlings to root to depp depth and establish quickly and permanently.
This ensures the establishing seedlings will cope better with unseasonably dry conditions as the fertiliser does not have to be washed into the seedling root zone.
Avoid working fertiliser in too deep, certainly no deeper than 80mm, otherwise its effectiveness will be diluted.
New grass paddocks also enjoy a light surface dressing of lime worked into the seed bed but also applied on top.
At the least very least apply 500 kg/ha of agricultural lime within 6 months following pasture establishment.
Lime supplies calcium, an important clover nutrient which is also essential for healthy nodulation.

Chemical Control
First establish if herbicides are in fact actually required.
Many flat weeds, chickweed, and some buttercup varieties can be as effectively controlled with strategic lime applications and by a thickly growing and quick establishing pasture.
Some herbicides, for example 2-4 D, appear to be particularly hard on soil life as they have been observed to significantly depress earthworm activity soon after application.
If herbicides are deemed necessary, ensure there is a minimum 75% leaf cover before application in order to avoid herbicide uptake by pasture seedling roots.

Light applications of nitrogen fertilisers are important to help get clover onto  their feet until suchh of nitrogen fertilisers are important to help get the clover on their feet until such time they can contribute their own nitrogen to the pasture sward.
Applications of 15 kg N/ha every time the pastures start to yellow out work well.
This could mean up to 4 to 6 applications by the end of September, particularly on alternative itrogen in.
If conditions are cold in October / November, clover will benefit from nitrogen applications even then since the clover rhizobia are still establishing and require warm conditions to perform well.
Once soils truly warm up (20 degrees Celsius or more), avoid nitrogen applications altogether as continued applications of N will only make the clover rhizobia lazy in fixing nitrogen.
Sulphate of Ammonia nitorgen fertiliser is usually the best form of nitrogen for new grass as it provides sulphur as well and it is also important for plant protein synthesis.
Sulphate of Ammonia also has a degree of controlled release fertilising characteristics.
If sulphur levels are known to be high however, use Urea.
Do not apply nitrogen fertilisers to dark green pastures as these  are likely to still be high in nitrogen.
Applying N to these pastures could cause degrees of stock nitrate poisoning, subclinical forms of which often manifest as 'spring excema'.
High nitrogen levels in paogen pastures can depress some trace element uptake, for example cobalt which lowers ruminant Vit B12 production and appetite.
High nitrogen pastures also tend to be comparatively low in energy content while high in other elements such as potassium making for a nnutritively unbalance feed.
Use of controlled release balanced fertilisers that include trace elements can help counter some of these effects.
Usually new grass paddocks from worked up ground are very high in potassium resulting in resulting in sulting in very harsh, grass pulling prone and unpalatable pastures.
Accordingly there is seldom need for any potash to be included in initial new ggw gser applications.
A light dressing of agricultural salt can help alleviate this problem.

Light Grazings
Aim to take the top out of the pasture sward to ensure clover is not shaded out and to promote the thick tillering of the ryeggyegrasses.
Visit your new grass paddocks regularly in order to determine when they are ready to graze.
If winter ryes are in the pasture sward extra care with grazing management will be needed to ensure the winter ryes do not out compete other grass species and clover.

Pugging damage
This will occur under even the best of pasture management.
Running a 'long knife' ground hog over the damaged area as soon as possible after pugging occurs can limit a lot of the daamage by helping the soil drain water and byearthworms and microbes to live for another day's good work.
Rolling the damaged aremage by allowing any surface water to drain and by allowing the soil to breath so that pasture roots, earthworms, soil microbes and other soil life can continue to respire and function normally.

Rolling the damaged area
In many instances on given soil tyIn many instances on given soil tyyven soil ty it is impossible to use a cambridge roller so soon after pugging and it may be better then to use heavy chain harrows as an interim measure.
Chain harrows dragged over the pugged area will pull many of the pugged ridges off into the pugged hollows.
Repeat the process going the other way if necessary.
Oversow the worst effected areas with grass seed then run a mob of lightweight stock over the area to tamp things down.
A cambridge roller can be used later  ter Cambridge roller can then be used later the seain the season to finish the job.

Future Fertiliser Applications
A good pasture establishment, preceded by good cultivation, fertilisers including lime, good drainage and modern pasture species, will ensure your new grass pastures are soon the very best ones on the farm.
These will typically produce 50 to 100% more dry matter than the bottom 25% producing pastures.
Supplying just the usual farm rates of fertiliser and lime to these new high performing pastures could severely short change their future production potential.
Rather, supply proportionately more fertiliser, particularly phosphate, to match their improved production, and continue to do so each subsequent application.
With time, overall farfertiliser inputs will increase as more pastures are renewed, but so will the farmÕs production and profitability.
Reconsider the fertiliser mixes you use at higher rates.
For example 30% potassic super mix which may have been OK to use at lower rates are likely to supply excessive amounts of potash and sulphate sulphur at theses new higher rates.
This could quickly lead to animal health metabolic problems such as increased bloat, grass tetany staggers, and animal fertility problems, due to excesses of some nutrient levels and induced deficiencies of others.
In these situations, the need for a balanced approach to fertilisers using mixes tailored to your farm monitored becomes imperative.

Last seen: 08/20/2013 - 22:24
Joined: 08/20/2013 - 22:23

If you have to get rid of these weeds and the oncoming pests on your property, you can just hire the Pest Control Melbourne team to help you clean up the place which they do effectively.

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