CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING CONTROL.
Much work has been carried out, both in New Zealand and overseas, with chemical sprays for control of these grasses, but to date none has been found that will not also affect growing crops. TCA at 10 to 15lbs. per acre or I.P.C. or C.I.P.C. at 2 to 4lbs. per acre have been recommended, and soil sterilents such as Atlacide or Polyborchlorate will readily kill the grasses. These treatments would mean loss of crop until the materials have been leached out of the soil.
When either Barnyard or Foxtail grass is found in patches in a paddock and eradication by cultivation either by hand or machine is not practicable, the use of the above treatments would be well warranted, as after one seeding, widespread infestation will occur and eradication would then be extremely difﬁcult and costly. These grasses will not compete with good pasture and in the event of paddocks becoming seriously affected, grassing down is recommended. As the viability of Barnyard grass seed in the soil is considered to be only ﬁve years, eradication is not such a problem as that of Foxtail grass, the seed of which is reckoned to live for twenty years in the soil.
Evidence from two paddocks sown in barley for seed production has shown that this crop subdues these grasses.
The cleaning-down of cultivating and harvesting equipment coming from infested paddocks is advisable and would appear to be the only practicable action that can be taken to prevent initial spread. The cleaning of corn harvesters with the aid of a compressor over the past three years after coming out of affected paddocks has been very effective in most cases.
Although there are many weeds to contend with in growing crops, it is considered that Barnyard and Foxtail grasses are major problems, and their presence in many paddocks in Poverty Bay is ample evidence of their effects, showing the necessity for action as early as possible. Only thus can we hope to eradicate or control the grasses and prevent further losses of land for general cropping.
“Now is the time…”
With the bulk of the produce now supplied to the factory, the annual chore has been commenced of sorting, repairing and stacking our dump cases.
Will you please gather and return to us any cases still on your property. They are provided for your convenience and to save you cost: they are an expensive item in our operating costs, and our accountants are forever insisting that cases not returned should be charged out to the grower concerned Well, we do have a detailed record of case distribution: we could easily make a tally and a charge. But we prefer to keep our relations with you on a fair-play, rather than a penalty basis.
So will you support us against the accountants – and send back all our dump cases?
WHAT IS “ENOUGH”?
No matter how many dump cases we had – and they run to scores of thousands – we’d never have enough, or so it seems. Why? Because instead of a sensible day-to-day draw-off from our stocks as boxes are needed, so many good fellows can’t sleep at night unless they know they’ve accumulated enough cases to handle their entire crop for weeks ahead. Couldn’t we try the sensible way next year and keep cases circulating as needed, instead of accumulated in great heaps all over the district?
Our Fred Tierney is a remarkable compound of Christian charity and dark distrust: the former he tries to extend to all, but the latter he reserves for growers who give him needless repair work by careless and damaging handling of his cases. He tells us, too, that our dump cases can be seen around the countryside in various and sundry unauthorised uses: picnic boxes, dog houses, milk boxes, children’s carts, playhouses, shed linings, fowl nests, shed shelves. It appears that growers consider a damaged dump case not worth returning, and so to be sent to Rotten Row or used ignobly around the farm.
Fred devotes the best years of his life to rebuilding and restoring these old masters: so send ’em back, whole or damaged.
You wouldn’t want him to have a permanently soured disposition, would you now?