Getting hands-on to control weeds
LANDOWNERS came from as far as Serpentine and Bridgetown to a field day on the treatment of declared weeds cotton bush and apple of sodom in Brunswick on Wednesday.
Landowner Mike Donaghy and his wife Kylie West had tried a variety of methods to combat the infestation they found when they bought the property seven months ago.
With support from the PeelHarvey Biosecurity Group and the Department of Agriculture and Food, Mr Donaghy offered to share his experiences with other stakeholders and get the message across that the problem can only be solved with a community approach.
“I got rid of cotton bush and apple of sodom in one paddock and now find wild radish and wild mustard taking root,” he said.
“The best way to solve the problem of declared weeds spreading is to take ownership of the weeds on our own land.
“As farmers we share the responsibility and we don’t want to spread highly invasive cotton bush to our neighbours.”
Biosecurity group chairman Vaughn Byrd said the turnout of almost 80 people was amazing.
“It was an interactive way where Mike shared his experiences and this prompted others to share theirs,” he said.
“I talked to a number of people and they were very happy with the day.
“In some instances it clarified for them that they were on the right track controlling weeds.
“The field day was very timely – cotton bush is no longer seasonal and landholders have to be proactive all year round.
“If you leave the weeds until they flower, you have left it too late.”
Landowner Mike Donaghy speaks to attendees on how he treated his cotton bush-infested paddock using trial and error.
Brooke Devine demonstrates the efficiency of steam weed control he developed to Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group chairman Vaughn Byrd and onlookers.
Peel-Harvey Biosecurity Group chief executive officer Jonelle Cleland meets up with Jamie Fry and Peter Harvey whose properties are adjacent to Mr Donaghy's land.
Wokalup couple Anne and Wayne Slammers speak with Department of Agriculture and Food development officer Andrew Reeves.
Brunswick farmers Robert George and Terry Treasure, who are controlling cotton bush on their own land, pick up some new tips.