Industry must work together

Industry must work together


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Like the Woods family at "Limebon", Boggabilla,in the state's north, Even Wilson has lippia infected country and found ploughing paddocks for cereal crops is working to a degree at "Elma", in the Jemalong floodplain near Forbes.

Like the Woods family at "Limebon", Boggabilla,in the state's north, Even Wilson has lippia infected country and found ploughing paddocks for cereal crops is working to a degree at "Elma", in the Jemalong floodplain near Forbes.

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As a disaster looms for the state's cropping industry through the continuing spread of the allelopathic lippia weed, a Forbes district grower calls on the whole cropping industry to work together on a combat battle plan.

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FORBES district cropper, Evan Wilson says he doesn’t know any other way to control lippia other than by cropping it.

He and his fiance’ Meg, run Elma Trading on a combined two property purchase in recent years based on “Elma”, in the Jemalong district west of Forbes.

Mr Wilson is also currently a partner in the family’s farming and grazing business with his parents and brother.

As the property had not been cropped in some 15 years Mr Wilson said lippia was his biggest issue.

“I don’t know how else to control the weed without working it,” he said.

“We can’t direct-drill into it and the way it is at the moment with vulnerable crops in our area, it is getting more and more difficult to use the chemicals we need to use.”

Mr Wilson said a few years back before cotton was established in his area, landholders had a “fair chance” of controlling lippia.

“But now it is getting harder and harder to find the right climate window to spray what we want to spray without endangering those crops around us,” he said.

“I believe the only way we can solve the growing lippia problem is for the whole cropping industry to work together.

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“If Group i herbicides are banned it will hurt everyone in the crop growing industry including cotton growers in the river valleys.

“I understand cotton growers’ concerns with spray drift, but I think they also have to understand where everyone else is coming from with this weed because eventually, as they irrigate, lippia will find its way onto their growing fields.”

Mr Wilson said it was only a matter of time before Irrigation land became infected, if not already.

“This weed has the potential to ruin the whole cropping industry if allowed to take over. It chokes out natural grasses, improved pastures and timber country in floodplains and unfortunately when it gets into that floodplain and timber country with each flood landowners are limited in ways to control.”

Mr Wilson’s first wheat crop of Lancer yielding 6.5 tonnes per hectare won the Central Region zone of the 2017 Agricultural Societies Council Suncorp Bank dryland wheat competition.

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