Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

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Time to target spring weed growth

Blackberry bush with fruit23 October 2018

The little rain the Shire has had in recent weeks has resulted in some pasture growth, along with weeds such as Serrated tussock, St John’s wort, Blackberry and African lovegrass.

Council will commence its roadside weed control program next month, with all four of these priority weeds to be part of the spring/summer program.

Council’s Acting Biosecurity Coordinator, Jamie Dixon-Keay, said Serrated tussock (which grows through winter) is starting to flower right now and urged all landholders with infestations to get out and control it.

“The seed can be blown many kilometres so it is vital that everyone knows what it is, whether they have it and, if they do, to fully control it, not only to protect their own land but also that of their neighbours and areas further afield,” Mr Dixon-Keay said.

“Chipping it out and bagging any with flower or seed heads, spot spraying, or boom spraying in areas where it is dense, are all effective ways of dealing with it.”

St John’s Wort is also beginning to emerge and will also be targeted by Council on its road and other reserves.

It invades degraded areas and those with poor pasture cover, threatens native and introduced plant communities, is highly invasive and causes photosensitivity in animals.

“Again, if you suspect you have some or have had infestations in the past, inspect and plan control within the next two months to prevent seeding and further spread,” Mr Dixon-Keay said.

African lovegrass is becoming more prevalent following the rain and will be part of the roadside program, with control stretching through to autumn.

It is a very competitive tussock grass with low stock feed value and is a threat to agriculture, native grassland and other conservation areas.

“Target individual plants before they spread and other infestations to minimise any impacts it may have on your land,” Mr Dixon-Keay said.

Blackberry has been slow to get going because of the dry, but will emerge with a vengeance.

The best time to apply chemical control is when the bushes have at least one metre of fresh cane, this ensures the plant is growing strongly and will take the chemical into the roots system effectively.

Roadside control programs are publicised through the public notices on Council’s website

Council’s Biosecurity Invasive Species Officers are happy to visit your property and provide free advice on weed identification and the various management techniques available.

For further information or to make an appointment, contact Council’s Biosecurity Invasive Species Officers on 6499 2222.

Photograph: Blackberry is one of four priority weeds that will be targeted as part of Council’s spring/summer roadside spraying program.



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