Cot­ton bush erad­i­ca­tion ramps up

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - NEWS - Han­nelore Hep­burn

MEM­BERS of the Peel-Har­vey Biose­cu­rity Group met last week to iden­tify the worst cot­ton bush in­fes­ta­tions within their area which stretches from the Shire of Ser­pen­tine-Jar­rah­dale in the north to the Shire of Har­vey in the south.

The group re­ported eight main prob­lem ar­eas within the Har­vey shire and five from the Shire of Wa­roona to Agri­cul­ture and Food at the De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional Devel­op­ment.

The de­part­ment will use this in­for­ma­tion to start a com­pli­ance process with se­lected cot­ton bush hot spots in Septem­ber.

In­fested prop­er­ties which af­fect neigh­bours’ agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion or are prov­ing costly through con­tin­u­ous re-in­fes­ta­tion will be con­sid­ered as pri­or­i­ties.

Har­vey shire com­mu­nity rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mar­ion Loft­house said com­mu­nity co­op­er­a­tion was im­por­tant to tackle the spread of the de­clared weed.

“Some prop­er­ties are not vis­i­ble from the road and to iden­tify all source prop­er­ties, we rely on re­ports from the com­mu­nity,” she said.

“Now is a good time for land­hold­ers to pull out cot­ton bush plants as the ground is soft and the plants are not ac­tively grow­ing.

“The Peel-Har­vey Biose­cu­rity Group has tree pop­pers for loan which make it eas­ier to pull out big­ger plants.”

The group has taken ad­van­tage of an easy tool for record­ing and map­ping weed in­fes­ta­tions to get a bet­ter idea of where cot­ton bush out­breaks are tak­ing place.

Group ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jonelle Cle­land said th­ese maps helped iden­tify hot spots and the group would work with the com­mu­nity to find the best way to erad­i­cate any cot­ton bush in­fes­ta­tions on their prop­erty.

Visit the Agri­cul­ture and Food sec­tion of the De­part­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries and Re­gional Devel­op­ment web­site www.agric.wa.gov.au/my­weed-watcher-web/search and type “nar­row leaf cot­ton bush” in the search bar for more in­for­ma­tion.

The MyWeedWatcher app can also be down­loaded on mo­bile phones to doc­u­ment cot­ton bush in­fes­ta­tions on the road.

Now is a good time to pull out cot­ton bush plants as the ground is soft and the plants are not ac­tively grow­ing. - Mar­ion Loft­house

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