Pime­lea talks turn to se­ri­ous so­lu­tions

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

CAT­TLE pro­duc­ers are en­cour­aged to col­lect pime­lea plant sam­ples to help sci­en­tists re­search ways to stop cat­tle be­ing poi­soned by the toxic plant.

Sci­en­tists from the De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries and the Univer­sity of Queens­land joined with AgForce rep­re­sen­ta­tives to pro­vide a pime­lea re­search project up­date to about 90 cat­tle pro­duc­ers at a fo­rum in St Ge­orge.

AgForce South­ern In­land Queens­land pres­i­dent Robyn Bryant said pri­mary pro­duc­ers across Aus­tralia had lost hun­dreds of cat­tle to pime­lea poi­son­ing in re­cent years and the prob­lem was get­ting worse.

“Pime­lea is a na­tive, toxic plant that oc­curs over one-third of Aus­tralia’s pas­toral area across five states, caus­ing sea­sonal cat­tle deaths, re­duced weight gain in sur­viv­ing cat­tle and ren­der­ing large pas­ture ar­eas too risky for graz­ing,” she said.

AgForce pol­icy of­fi­cer Marie Vitelli said sci­en­tists were us­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial ru­men (part of the cow’s stom­ach), which would be trickle-fed pime­lea plant ma­te­rial to see what mi­crobes sur­vived.

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