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Buffel – the pasture grass that became a pest

News release
26 February 2019

Buffel grass has been found growing on a roadside in the Upper South East, and the South East NRM Board’s NRM Officers are on hand to help with advice on how to prevent this recently declared weed from establishing in our region.

NRM Officer Kym Haebich said that Buffel grass was introduced for pasture improvement and dust control across northern and inland Australia.

“Unfortunately this has become invasive and spread well beyond initial plantings,” Kym said.

“We’ve found it growing adjacent to the Dukes Highway just to the west of Bordertown.”

Buffel grass is an erect, tussock forming, deep rooted grass with stems from 20cm – 1.5m high. Its leaves are lush green when actively growing and straw coloured in dry times, and seed heads to 15cm long contain densely arranged small burrs.

“This grass can quickly colonise bare or cleared areas, roadsides and pastoral lands where it forms dense monocultures and can displace native vegetation,” Kym said.

“This causes habitat loss, and poses a dangerous fire risk as its flammable ground layer can carry extremely hot fires.”

Buffel grass has the potential to become established in the South East, but there are preventative measures.

“If you’re travelling north and to outback regions, be sure to maintain good vehicle hygiene by checking and cleaning under your vehicle regularly to prevent carrying unwanted seeds home with you to the South East,” Kym said.

“For added advice on identification and how you can control any suspected Buffel Grass on your property, NRM Officers are always available to chat.”

For contact details on your nearest NRM Officer, see the link below or call 87351177 or 87551620.

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