Be on the Lookout: Land Managers urged to Report Invasive Summer Grasses
17 January 2023
The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board is urging local landholders to be on the lookout for invasive summer grasses after the unseasonably wet spring conditions.
As the weather starts to warm up, buffel grass, African lovegrass, coolatai grass and fountain grass will likely flourish across many parts of the region. In addition, dormant weed seeds may well be exposed and moved by rainfall and flood events, potentially spreading weed incursions to new areas.
While invasive summer grasses were originally introduced to Australia as pasture species, many have poor nutritional value and outcompete native vegetation and productive pastures. Ecosystems that include invasive summer grasses often have significantly higher fuel loads than native grasses, increasing the risk and severity of bush fires.
District officer Jamie Courtney said that this year’s cool and wet seasonal conditions are ideal for invasive summer weed species to flourish.
“Some summer grass species can be hard to spot at the best of times, but the cool, wet winter has boosted winter vegetation which can hide emerging summer weeds”.
Mr Courtney encouraged landholders to be on the lookout for invasive summer grass incursions on their own properties and on public lands, particularly where soil has recently been disturbed.
“There are a number of roadworks and infrastructure projects in the region at the moment, and the movement of soil and high traffic use risks the movement of seeds and the establishment of weeds. The spread of weeds can also be linked to the movement of tractors, slashers and other agricultural implements, and vehicles that haven’t been sufficiently cleaned to remove contaminated debris”.
Landholders are encouraged to regularly review sites where summer grasses may emerge, and seek help to identify and control incursions.
“Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board district officers can help property owners, blockies and farmers to identify summer weeds and relevant control options, and we encourage you to contact your local landscape office as a first port of call”.
“Fact sheets for several summer grass species are available on our website, or for comprehensive information about best-practise control options, consult the controlling weeds section of the PIRSA website.”
Buffel grass and coolatai grass are both listed as reportable weed species, so suspected sightings must be reported to the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board.
This project is supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the landscape levies.