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Caltrop - A prickly problem

News release
21 November 2019

Time is critical in the fight against caltrop (Tribulus terrestris).

Natural Resource Management Pest Program Co-ordinator Kym Haebich advises that now is the time to be on the lookout for this pest plant.

A declared weed under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004, caltrop will readily germinate in response to warm weather followed by summer rains. It is now very prevalent across parts the South East region and requires control on properties and roadsides.

“Landholders are reminded to keep an eye out for this pale green, summer growing annual weed. Easily identified by its prostrate growth and small yellow flowers, it produces up to 1000 seeds which can be viable within 10 days of emergence. The dried seeds split into sharp, three-spined burrs which will readily attach to footwear and rubber tyred vehicles,” Mr Haebich said.

“Seeds will also contaminate fodder, which allows the weed to be spread considerable distances. It also enables a very low density of plants to maintain a continual population.”

However, it’s easily controlled with recommended herbicides - check out the free SA Weed Control App for advice. Landowners can also implement good farm hygiene practices to stop any spread to new sites.

The South East NRM Board can recover the cost of controlling roadside pest plants and pest animals from adjoining landholders, but encourages landholders to take action, checking with the local council first to ensure compliance for local regulations.

For further advice and control measures contact your local Natural Resources Management Officer on 8735 1177 (Mt Gambier) or 8755 1620 (Keith).

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