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Khaki weed becoming a burr-den

News release
10 April 2019

Local Natural Resources Management Officers are urging the community to be on the lookout as a declared weed has made its way into a backyard in Keith.

Following a report from a Keith local, NRM Officer Mr Tony Richman visited the residential property and confirmed the infestation as Khaki weed. Mr Richman said this was a concerning find, however with quick action has been treated.

“The best way to tackle Khaki weed is to recognise and control it early, before it sets seed and becomes established,” Mr Richman said.

Native to South America, Khaki weed (Alternanthera pungens) is a summer growing perennial with broad leaves and straw coloured burrs around 1cm long. Infestations can occur in irrigated lawn areas such as nature strips, parks and sports ovals.

When established, Khaki weed forms a dense carpet and its sharp burrs can be harmful to wildlife, stock and people.

“The burrs also contain considerable amounts of seed which is easily transported by hitching a ride on machinery, vehicle tyres, soft soled shoes and animals,” Mr Richman said.

“It’s important to maintain good weed hygiene, washing down things like harvesting machinery, equipment and cars before moving from property to property.”

“Small populations of Khaki weed can be easily dug out by hand and it is important to ensure the taproot is completely removed from the soil to prevent regrowth. Inspections of treated sites is necessary for at least three years to stop reinfestation.”

NRM Officers can provide technical advice on how to control Khaki weed with the correct herbicide selection, and optimum times to be on the lookout.

As Khaki weed is listed as a declared weed in South Australia under the NRM Act, landholders are required to destroy infestations and notify their local NRM Board if an infestation is detected on their property.

For more information on identifying and controlling Khaki weed, contact your local NRM Officer.

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