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2020 Autumn - Evolving conservation agriculture

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FPJ1701E - Beckie, HJ, Flower, KC & Ashworth, MB (2020), Glyphosate-free farming in Australia?

FPJ1701E - Beckie, HJ, Flower, KC & Ashworth, MB (2020), Glyphosate-free farming in Australia?, in Farm Policy Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, Autumn 2020, pp. 32-42, Surry Hills, Australia.

Glyphosate is the most popular and effective global herbicide. However, there is widespread public interest and concern over its safety because of recent pronouncements and court decisions. Consequently, glyphosate-based products are under intense scrutiny. Some countries or jurisdictions have banned or restricted its use, which will impact the international grain trade should glyphosate residues be detected. The prospect of farming without glyphosate is becoming an important issue facing the Australian agri-food sector. International events that have led to this possible scenario are chronicled, glyphosate usage in agronomic field crops described, and possible alternatives to glyphosate in Australian grain cropping explored. A bioeconomic model is utilised to simulate scenarios of Australian grain cropping without the use of the herbicide. Model predictions suggest that we can farm profitably without glyphosate by consistently utilising key non-herbicidal weed management practices combined with effective pre-emergence soil residual herbicides. However, maintaining low weed seed banks will be challenging.

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