About spear grass
I WRITE to clear up some misconceptions about spearg rass (Central and North Burnett Times, 13 July 2017).
Black spear grass is a productive native grass occurring across four states.
In Queensland, spear grass is found across 29 million hectares and supports a third of the state’s cattle population.
Locals would know about the spiralling penetration of mature black spear grass seeds through socks and sometimes into skin.
This is a natural response of this native grass seed to moisture, which results in seeds burying into soil.
Sock protectors and long pants provide some protection during the May to August seeding period.
There is also another species known as spear grass or bamboo grass, which has cream-coloured seed heads that are very different in shape to black spear grass and do not have seeds that spiral and penetrate socks or skin.
Grazing lands dominated by black spear grass are an indicator of good land condition and conservative grazing pressure.
Grazing utilisation rates rarely exceed 30 per cent, otherwise less desirable pastures will out-compete the productive spear grass pastures.
Land owners with black spear grass across their North Burnett paddocks should be celebrating the fact their good land management practices are maintaining healthy productive native pastures.
Yours sincerely, — Marie Vitelli AgForce weeds and biosecurity policy officer
Speargrass in the North Burnett region.