Northern New South Wales grain growers, agronomists and advisers are being asked to play a new role in research by collecting weed seeds for scientists who are unable to cross the border as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
Seeds from annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) are urgently needed for a research project investigating the occurrence and germination rates of summer annual ryegrass compared with winter annual ryegrass.
Weed researcher Associate Professor Bhagirath (Sunny) Chauhan, of the University of Queensland (UQ), says border closures between Queensland and NSW have restricted his team's ability to collect seeds from some locations.
"Ryegrass is an emerging summer weed problem for many growers in these areas, so we are hoping they will be willing to help us," he says.
"In turn, we can help them by improving our knowledge of the behaviour and growth patterns of this weed."
To assist with the collection of the weed seeds, UQ will provide sampling instructions, sample collection bags and postage-paid, pre-addressed envelopes.
"This project requires a minimum of 2000 seeds to be collected from a single location," Associate Professor Chauhan says.
"Summer annual ryegrass is likely to be found in highly irrigated areas - particularly cotton paddocks and irrigation channels.
"Instructions for sampling will be provided and include collectors being asked to record the GPS coordinates of collection sites, with collections from multiple sites welcome - provided sites are a minimum one kilometre apart."
GRDC Research Code: US00084
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