Weed control over summer improved with chaff deck

Wimmera grower Mick Pole is using an EMAR chaff deck to drive down some of the most damaging cropping weeds.

These include annual ryegrass, wild radish and brome grass.

Mr Pole, of Lowan Ridge, is seeing the results of using the EMAR chaff deck after autumn rain this year germinated weed seeds.

This allowed him to capture some of the seeds and lay then on the three-metre controlled traffic farming (CTF) lines.

EMAR chaff deck systems will be showcased at the Henty Machinery Field Days by Primary Sales Australia.

Mr Pole said the EMAR chaff deck had helped with dust reduction at summer spraying, with the residue laid by the chaff deck system.

He said the dust suppression had exceeded expectations, and weed control over the summer was now much closer to 100 per cent since the introduction of the chaff decks.

“Windrow burning has been used in the past and we are hoping the chaff deck will replace it long term,’’ Mr Pole said.

“With windrow burning, we found we were losing too much residue needed for pulse growing and erosion control.’’

Mr Pole expects the chaff deck to be beneficial on sandy soils with the implementation of early stage CTF to reduce erosion.

While in the post-spraying phase of the farming cycle, Mr Pole said using the chaff deck had allowed him to better manage the paddocks by altering the timing of the spraying where necessary, and reducing the “self-sown’’ pressures outside the wheel tracks.

“After only about six months of use, we are only now beginning to realise the full benefits as each cycle is completed,’’ Mr Pole said.

“Although only in the early stages of CTF and the use of the chaff deck, I am really looking forward to watching and working with the result, and I can see some positive outcomes eventuating.

“Of course, as with all new ventures there will be challenges, but the current feeling with the chaff deck is by preparing to take on these challenges, I firmly believe the positives will outweigh the negatives.’’