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Watch out for weeds after the wet

Following recent heavy rainfall across most parts of NSW and with the weather now starting to warm up not only is pasture growth on the increase, weed infestations are becoming an increasing problem due to the ideal growing conditions.

Local Land Services is urging small and large land managers to check their properties for invasive weeds that may have spread during recent rains and flooding.

Floods can spread weeds along watercourses and into areas that may have been previously free of weeds.  Floods wash away vegetation, leaving areas of exposed soil that provide opportunities for new weed infestations.  Therefore, it is important to monitor flooded areas for 12 months to detect new weed invasions.

Weeds are not only spread by water, they can be dispersed by wind, machinery, vehicles, birds, in the faeces and on the skin of animals, and in supplementary food products.

The correct identification of a weed is the first and most crucial step in weed management.  By identifying weeds early, land managers can plan on containment and control options at the most appropriate time for the particular species of weed that is present.

Some of the more common weeds found across NSW are serrated tussock; Paterson’s curse; St John’s wort; African lovegrass; fireweed; broom; blackberry; saffron, variegated Scotch and nodding thistles; lantana; and Coolatai, giant Parramatta and Chilean needle grass, just to name a few.  Under ideal conditions, some of these weeds can dominate areas and even cause a mono culture where no other species can grow.

Weeds reduce crop yields and the carrying capacity of livestock producers, cause health issues for livestock (some weeds affect the liver of animals), and can substantially increase farm costs.

The introduction of desirable plants as competition can help to reduce the chance of weeds reoccurring in the future.  Management of pastures where possible will also reduce the likelihood of weeds establishing, as most weeds like bare ground to get started on.

All land managers have a responsibility to manage weeds on their properties.  Effective weed control will save time and money.

For assistance in identifying weeds your local council weed officer or a local botanist can provide assistance.  Local Land Services staff can also assist if a good quality specimen and/or photographs of the plant growing in its habitat are provided.  Contact your nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.


Media contact: Mark McGaw, 02 4824 1911