Unite in wipe­out on weed

Tasmanian Country - - CROSSWORD -

A COM­MU­NITY pro­gram to tackle in­va­sive weeds in the Tamar Val­ley could be adopted in other ar­eas of Tas­ma­nia.

The pro­gram has seen coun­cils, nat­u­ral re­source man­age­ment groups and farm­ers join forces to tar­get the in­va­sive ser­rated tus­sock.

Orig­i­nally set up in 2010, the pro­gram has been ef­fec­tive in mon­i­tor­ing and treat­ment to erad­i­cate the weed.

Pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor Greg Lund­strom from Tamar NRM said by en­gag­ing with the wider com­mu­nity and work­ing with land­hold­ers, more peo­ple were now keep­ing an eye out for the weed.

Com­pli­ance in con­trol­ling the weed is man­aged by the Depart­ment of Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Parks, Wa­ter and En­vi­ron­ment and in­cludes re­mind­ing land­hold­ers of their obli­ga­tions but Mr Lund­strom said the com­mu­nity pro­gram al­lowed a proac­tive ap­proach.

This means in­fes­ta­tions can be iden­ti­fied and tack­led be­fore they have a chance to spread.

Ser­rated tus­sock is clas­si­fied as a weed of national sig­nif­i­cance. It is un­palat­able to stock and is of such poor nu­tri­tional value that an­i­mals forced to graze on ser­rated tus­sock can starve to death with a full stom­ach.

Large in­fes­ta­tions can cut pas­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity by up to 95 per cent.

Each plant can pro­duce thou­sands of seeds that spread through wa­ter cour­ses, by wind or on stock and ma­chin­ery.

The weed was re­cently found on three prop­er­ties in the Tamar Val­ley and through the pro­gram the landown­ers have been as­sisted to im­ple­ment cor­rect control mea­sures.

Tamar NRM also co­or­di­nated a pub­lic fo­rum last week where Jar­rah Vercoe from DPIPWE dis­cussed iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and man­age­ment.

Mr Lund­strom says ser­rated tus­sock looks very sim­i­lar to Tas­ma­nian na­tive poa grasses so iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is dif­fi­cult.

Ser­rated tus­sock is al­ready tak­ing hold in parts of the state, with an in­cur­sion in the Cressy area and wide­spread in­fes­ta­tions in the Sorell re­gion.

“This is a weed that we can’t af­ford and don’t want it to spread,” he said.

For more de­tails visit www.ser­rat­ed­tus­sock. com/idapp.

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