Time to spring into action on weed control

News article |

Landholders are urged to be vigilant to keep on top of weeds on their property as there are a number of weeds that thrive during spring.

With an increasingly wet, warm spring, the Limestone Coast is seeing an increase in the prevalence of weeds.

Limestone Coast Landscape Board, Team Leader of Landscape Operations, Nicole McGuiness, is urging landholders to be vigilant to keep on top of spring weeds on their property.

“There are a number of weeds that thrive during spring, and it is an ideal opportunity for landholders to act now to improve land productivity and ensure weed infestations do not get out of hand”.

An integrated weed control program involves weed identification, weed removal and control methods such as spraying with herbicide and mechanical removal.

“Spring weeds we’re focusing on include false caper, salvation Jane, variegated thistle, African boxthorn and boneseed.”

A priority weed this spring is the declared pest plant Salvation Jane (Echium plantagineum), an annual herb which outcompetes pastures and is toxic to livestock.

“A variety of biological control agents targeting salvation Jane were released by our Authorised Officers in the late nineties across the region, said Ms. McGuiness.

The Crown Weevil (Mogulones larvatus), is a successful biological control agent that reduces seed set and the prevalence of salvation Jane infestations across the Limestone Coast.

“We are calling on landholders to be vigilant in identifying any new incursions of salvation Jane and controlling any infestations they detect.”

“The seed is long-lived and can remain dormant underground for up to five years, this means many landowners might not even be aware that is it on their property,” said Ms. McGuiness.

Spring is an ideal time to be on the lookout for salvation Jane, as its trumpet like purple flowers are developing.

“Our Landscape Officers are located throughout the Limestone Coast and are available to work with landholders providing weed identification support and assistance on best practice control methods,” Ms. McGuiness said.

To be put in touch with your local Landscape Officer for weed identification assistance or control advice call the Limestone Coast Landscape Board on 8429 7550.

Time to spring into action on weed control
The biological control agent, the Crown Weevil larvae attacks the central crown of the florets of the salvation Jane. Pictured. Salvation Jane with weevil damage.
Time to spring into action on weed control
Pictured. A Crown Weevil on a salvation Jane floret.

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