Serrated tussock is regarded as one of the worst pasture weeds due to its invasiveness, its competitive nature, and its significant impact on agricultural productivity.
It is highly unpalatable to livestock and can lead to loss of condition, and in some cases, death if ingested.
In bushland areas, the tussock can outcompete native grasses and reduce biodiversity. Cressy woolgrower Roderic O’Connor is managing serrated tussock thanks to a grant from the state government’s $5 million weeds action fund, in its first round.
Mr O’Connor is vigilant when it comes to this significant weed, ensuring it doesn’t get into productive areas of the property.
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“Yearly management is essential, as is managing the source of seed areas. This is the time of year that you need to get in and manage it before the seed becomes viable and spreads,” Mr O’Connor said.
“We have patches of serrated tussock over 1500 hectares of predominantly open run country. It is essential that we work closely with our neighbour. We have managed to reduce the infestation by about 40 per cent through annual management over the last nine years, but still have a way to go.”
Under Stage Two of the Weeds Action Fund, a small grants round is set to open in spring, to support landholders, land managers and community organisations to tackle priority weeds.
Round one resulted in the the funding of 34 projects across Tasmania, from working on Chilean needle grass in the Coal River Valley, orange hawkweed in the central highlands, African boxthorn in the north, and many other projects.
Weeds Action Fund chair Ian Sauer said he was excited about the opportunity the fund gave the community.
“Landowners are legally responsible for the control of declared weeds, but sometimes tenure gets in the way.
“Neighbours are encouraged to be strategic and work together to identify, and where possible, eradicate weeds that impact their land. Weed management is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
Mr Sauer said it was important landowners talk with their neighbours, identify the scope of the problem, and start planning now for projects that will make a measurable difference.
NRM North will deliver stage two of the fund over three years. Chief executive Rosanna Coombes said they were proud to work closely with their delivery partners to prepare the grants.
Another funding round to support larger-scale, complex projects will be released later this year, Ms Coombes said.
To register your interest in the Weeds Action Fund, please visit www.nrmnorth.org.au or phone 6333 7777.