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Weed taints in Australian dairy produce

Authors: J Conochie


Three weeds, lesser swine cress (Coronopus didymus), peppercress (Lepidium spp.), and turnip weed (Rapistrum ragusom) are responsible for taint in Australian dairy produce on an economically significant scale. Each produces a characteristic taint. None of the many methods of cream treatment studied gives promise of providing a general solution to the weed taints problem. Improvements in cream grading practice would mean better segregation of tainted cream with a consequent reduction in the amount of butter affected. Simple changes in farm practice, such as taking cows off the weeds some hours before milking, are of little effect. The ultimate solution appears to lie in eliminating these annual weeds by the development and use of better pastures and crops which will effectively compete with and prevent the weeds attaining any significant proportion in the herbage. Much could already be achieved by the wider use of established practices - cleaner cultivation of annual row crops such as maize and sorghum, keeping dairy stock off, and preferably ploughing and seeding, row crop stubbles. Although their use on some types of weed country would be clearly uneconomic, hormone-type weedicides provide a very useful method of controlling weeds on cultivated areas.

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