Communities continue the fight against invasive grasses
4 December 2015
A workshop was recently hosted by the Campaspe Valley Landcare Group at Barfold, south of Redesdale, to assist the community to identify stipoid grasses.
Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma), Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana), and Texas needle grass (Nassella leucotricha) are classed as stipoid grasses and all found in the Redesdale area.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) Biosecurity Officer Martin Deering said the workshop highlighted to the community that DEDJTR officers will assist land owners in identification and provide advice on control if the weeds are found.
"Stipoid grass are difficult to identify and are often mistaken for native spear grasses or vice versa," Mr Deering said.
"Land owners play a vital role by promptly treating any infestations on their land, however the broader community can also assist by contacting DEDJTR if they suspect an infestation in their area.
"These grasses, in particular serrated tussock, can have a significant negative impact on agriculture and the natural environment."
Serrated tussock is a Weed of National Significance, and a declared regionally prohibited weed under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 in the North Central Catchment.
Mr Deering said large infestations, covering a total area of approximately 500ha, have been found in areas north of Redesdale and Mia Mia.
"Serrated tussock has no grazing value because of its high fibre and low protein content, and large plants can produce 100,000 seeds a year.
"Infestations result in a significant loss in livestock production, and dense infestations may completely dominate pasture, leaving large areas incapable of supporting livestock," he said.
"Chilean needle grass is a Weed of National Significance and is a declared restricted weed in the North Central catchment.
"It's relatively unpalatable as it matures and reduces farm productivity by displacing more desirable pasture species. Heavy infestations can decrease productivity by as much as 50 per cent during summer."
Texas Needle grass is another stipoid grass found in the Redesdale area and although it is not a declared weed, it is a concern for landowners.
Find out more about pest plant management on the DEDJTR Agriculture website or phone the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Categorised under: Agriculture