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For those of you who, like us, spend huge amounts of time and money on spraying weeds, you will be well aware of the issues, costs and benefits of using diesel when basal bark spraying chemicals onto weeds.
The increased cost of diesel, along with its health and environmental issues has long made it a target for replacement however there has been little opportunity in the past. DCQ has a target this year of reducing internal diesel use on weeds by 250,000 L and a regional reduction through adoption of alternatives of 1 M L.
To do this we have been accelerating the adoption of many technologies including misting, a technique that uses water, rather than diesel, and also working with chemical companies as part of the assessment for release of new chemicals.
The most hopeful, currently has production issues and delays in supply, however the delay has provided the opportunity for DCQ to further the trails in preparation for permit applications through the chemical regulators.
DCQ has already lodged three applications this year from its current R&D work with this new work to expand on that. The results to date from the testing is encouraging with results from a single pass of the misters using the new chemical onto Prickly Acacia in a 400 m depression line showing that 80% we killed in the first instance but in total 97% of the trees were effected so significantly that, if they weren’t killed, flowering and seed set is disrupted.
The density of the plants was over 800 stems/Ha and for those plants killed it equates to a cost of about ten cents per plant, or 8 cents per plant when the effected plants are considered, a massive reduction in the costs of basal bark spraying with diesel where each tree costs about $2.20. This work will expand to additional sites and move to both Rubber Vine and Chinee Apple in the new year.
This kind of work, funded by the DCQ Foundation, may mean that diesel for weed spraying may become a thing of the past sooner than expected and focus will move to rangeland recovery, not just weed control.