Weed management tactics

In Australian cropping systems, some farmers have started using the concept of tactic groups to improve long-term weed management. Individual weed management tactics are packaged into tactic groups according to the target growth stage of the weed. In a cropping system, combining tactic groups reduces weed numbers, stops replenishment of the seedbank and minimises the risk of developing herbicide-resistant weeds. The same principals apply to weed management in vineyards.

The AWRI has adapted the Grains, Research & Development Corporation (GRDC) table of weed control tactics for cropping systems to suit vineyards.

Weed control tactic Mode of action Method/tool Method details
Deplete weed seed in target area Encourage germination of weeds – and subsequently kill them Autumn tickle A shallow cultivation pass used to stimulate even weed seed germination by bringing weed seeds to the soil surface. When the weeds germinate, they can be controlled with a second cultivation pass. This tactic is ideal for weeds that break germination easily such as annual ryegrass, paradoxa grass and wild radish.
Kill weeds in target area Kill weeds, particularly seedlings Double knock The sequential application of two different weed control tools/practices 7-14 days apart ensures that the second pass controls any survivors of the first pass.
Cultivation Good weed control can be achieved by cultivating weeds when they are small and when cultivation coincides with hot, dry weather and dry soils.
Stop weed seed set Control weeds before they have a chance to flower and set seed Mowing/grazing Mowing or grazing operations timed before weed flowering and seed set can prevent the accumulation of new seeds in the seedbed.
Prevent weed growth in target area Suppress weed germination Mulch/sown swards/
volunteer swards
Prevents seeds from germinating by blocking sunlight from reaching the soil surface


Integrated weed management in Australian cropping systems (Grains Research and Development Corporation publication)