Tussock hitches a ride across Victoria
Posted on 16 January, 2019 by Asha
The year 2018 saw perfect conditions for Serrated Tussock, allowing this weed of national significance to seed prolifically and contaminate stock feed.
Here is a message from the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party:
The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP) would like to advise landowners to ensure fodder and hay purchased this summer and autumn is free of noxious weeds, and in particular, serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma). The previous year has seen perfect conditions for this weed of national significance to seed prolifically, resulting in many paddocks being infested prior to baling for fodder. Drier conditions also result in more fodder being transported around the state and interstate.
Whilst it can be difficult to inspect all fodder purchased for noxious weeds, VSTWP Executive Officer Doug May suggests that ‘Landowners should attempt to purchase stockfeed from reputable outlets that can verify the absence of declared noxious weeds and from areas outside of the serrated tussock core infestations around the fringes of northern and western Melbourne’. ‘Landowners are often unaware of the grassy weed in their paddocks, especially during a decent spring like the one we just had and may bale paddocks unaware of the viable seeds in the fodder,’ noted Mr May.
The VSTWP recommends that landowners set aside designated feed-out area, which allows the landowner to monitor this area regularly for the germination of weeds particularly after periods of rain. Landowners should keep an eye out for Serrated Tussock or any new or unusual plants in these feed-out areas and undertake control measures early before they flower and set seed.
Long standing member and current chairperson of the VSTWP, John Burgess, stated that the VSTWP ‘advocates that best practice management is to control and treat mature serrated tussock plants prior to flowering and seeding each season with a registered herbicide, manual removal or cultivation’.
Serrated tussock is an introduced invasive plant from South America that has the potential to rapidly decrease the biodiversity of native grasslands and seriously reduce the agricultural capacity of properties.