Herbicide resistance in rigid ryegrass is an escalating problem in grain-cropping fields of southeastern Australia due to increased reliance on herbicides as the main method for weed control. Weed surveys were conducted between 1998 and 2009 to identify the extent of herbicide-resistant rigid ryegrass across this region to dinitroaniline, and acetolactate synthase- and acetyl coenzyme A (CoA) carboxylase-inhibiting herbicides. Rigid ryegrass was collected from cropped fields chosen at random. Outdoor pot studies were conducted during the normal winter growing season for rigid ryegrass with PRE-applied trifluralin and POST-applied diclofop-methyl, chlorsulfuron, tralkoxydim, pinoxaden, and clethodim. Herbicide resistance to trifluralin in rigid ryegrass was identified in one-third of the fields surveyed from South Australia, whereas less than 5% of fields in Victoria exhibited resistance. In contrast, resistance to chlorsulfuron was detected in at least half of the cropped fields across southeastern Australia. Resistance to the cereal-selective aryloxyphenoxypropionate-inhibiting herbicides diclofop-methyl, tralkoxydim, and pinoxaden ranged between 30 and 60% in most regions, whereas in marginal cropping areas less than 12% of fields exhibited resistance. Resistance to clethodim varied between 0 and 61%. Higher levels of resistance to clethodim were identified in the more intensively cropped, higher-rainfall districts where pulse and canola crops are common. These weed surveys demonstrated that a high incidence of resistance to most tested herbicides was present in rigid ryegrass from cropped fields in southeastern Australia, which presents a major challenge for crop producers.
Nomenclature: Chlorsulfuron; clethodim; diclofop-methyl; pinoxaden; tralkoxydim; trifluralin; rigid ryegrass, Lolium rigidum Gaudin; canola, Brassica napus L.