Biocontrol still relevant tool
A workshop on the biological control of weeds was held in Port Lincoln recently.
Paul Sullivan, from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industry, explained it’s possible to achieve wonderful results (50% reduction) on weeds like Salvation Jane and some of our Cacti, thanks to some clever little insects.
Natural Resources Officer Iggy Honan said that on Eyre Peninsula we have our own examples of bio-control application on weeds such as Salvation Jane, Horehound, Opuntia, Skeleton Weed, Three Corner Jack and Bridal Creeper.
“Bridal Creeper populations have been infected with a specific rust that can stop seed set and reduce plant vigour,” Mr Honan said.
“Paul was careful to point out that these controls are not designed to eradicate weeds and actually rely on the weed surviving, allowing insects or pathogens to annually feed on the plants and keep levels down.
“While a 50% reduction is possible, in most cases the effectiveness of bio-control is around 20%.
“Other control methods need to be used in conjunction with bio-controls to limit the spread of weeds and reduce the impact they have on the environment and on farming.”
For more information on pest management visit the Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula website or contact Mr Honan on 0428 282 077.