About spear grass

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

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.

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