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Protect your property from weeds

Winter has arrived, and now is the time to start preparing your property for spring weed growth.  Effective weed management requires good preparation, but knowing where to begin can be an overwhelming task for many property owners.

Weeds cause environmental harm and choke out desirable vegetation.  They can be a major problem on rural properties because of the affect they have on pastures, crop and stock through lost time, productivity and increased farm costs.

The most common ways in which weeds spread are through wind, water, machinery, vehicles, hay and fodder, livestock and birds.

Even the best weed prevention efforts may not stop weeds, but early detection and on-going control will help to contain weed populations before they become too widespread, difficult and/or financially impossible to manage.

Following are some weed control tips:

Identify and prioritise weeds on your property. Find out which weeds are of most importance, in particular Weeds of National Significance, in your area and what time of the year is best to target those weeds.

Minimise weed spread on your property and to neighbouring properties by removing the source as soon as possible. Purchase fodder that is certified weed-free and clean vehicles to ensure they do not carry weed seeds.  Don’t plant weed species in the garden and remove plants that appear to be spreading into paddocks.

Check for weeds while doing other jobs and undertake regular paddock inspections. Look for weeds near watercourses (particularly after floods), roadways and traffic areas, boundaries and fence lines, newly sown crop and pasture paddocks, livestock feeding areas, near sheds, tanks, stock yards and other structures, revegetation areas, gardens where mulch or topsoil has been used, and downwind of previous weed infested areas.

Evaluate weed infestations to determine if you can carry out the weed control yourself or if you require a professional weed controller. Sharing weed control equipment with neighbours can help to reduce costs.

Control weed seed by stopping the weed from maturing to seed set. Remove roots, stems, branches and tubers.  Herbicides are often an important part of controlling weeds but not the only control technique.  A mix of weed management techniques may include strategic grazing, pasture improvement, herbicides, biological control agents, cultivation, slashing, mulching and hand pulling.

Target large weed infestations. This will help reduce the amount of seed that can reinfest paddocks.  Keep a record of where you find weeds for planning and assessing how effective weed control techniques have been.

All land managers have a responsibility to manage weeds on their properties.  Being diligent in weed control will save you time and money in the long-term and will help you to enjoy a rural lifestyle.

Local Land Services staff can assist you to identify weeds on your property and can connect you with local Landcare groups which offer incentive funding to control weeds.  Visit www.lls.nsw.gov.au or contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.

Local government noxious weeds staff can assist with managing noxious weeds.  Visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries website at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au for information about weeds and weeds lists.

ENDS

Media contact:  Chris Harris, 02 6118 7705