The Effects of Windrow Burning

Overview- Overdependence on agrochemicals

The project is primarily focusing on locally relevant research utilising two harvest weed seed control options, narrow windrow burning and the EMAR chaff deck or a farmer made equivalent. Both of these options provide a low cost method of controlling weed seeds . The yearly activities included

  • one farmer led windrow burn
  • one paddock harvested incorporating an EMAR chaff deck, or farmer made equivalent.

Two separate farms were chosen for each method of weed control; two harvest weed management sites and two control sites. An investigation was conducted using the EMAR chaff deck at North Parkes Mine as well as the windrow burning data being collected for the season.

The data from these two sites is currently being analysed and will distributed to our members this year.

Site Observations

windrows IMG_0150








The two above images show how beneficial windrow burning can be in retained stubble systems. The image on the left indicates that the weed seeds have been condensed within the windrows whereas they have been distributed by header spinners in the image on the righthand side. By condensing the weed seeds into the windrow we are providing a hostile environment for a weed to germinate under. In this particular case the germination event occurred after summer rains. Even without burning there is a significant reduction in the levels of viable seeds as they are subject to decay and breakdown.

If you would like some additional information regarding the project feel free to email us at or contact Diana Fear        02 6895 1016.