Pimelea talks turn to serious solutions
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.