Get­ting hands-on to con­trol weeds

Harvey-Waroona Reporter - - REPORTER NEWS - Han­nelore Hep­burn

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.

Pic­tures: Han­nelore Hep­burn

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.

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