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It’s not too late to action on Silverleaf Nightshade

News release
16 April 2014

Land managers are reminded that it is not too late to guard against Silverleaf Nightshade, (solanum elaeagnifolium) the virulent South Australian summer weed.

First identified in the northern agricultural districts in the 1940s, Silverleaf Nightshade has spread far and wide, infesting thousands of hectares across the rich agricultural area of the Northern and Yorke region.

Recent dry conditions are assisting farmers control a suite of traditional summer weeds which do not appear to be present in some areas, however, Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Team Leader, Grant Roberts said that it is important for landholders to remain vigilant and take action on any infestation sightings.

“Silverlieaf Nightshade is a deep-rooted perennial plant and can greatly affect winter crop yield through water and nutrient uptake,” Mr Roberts said.

“Once it becomes established, a land manager’s control strategy may quickly move from an effort of eradication to the less effective approach of managing established plants and trying to minimise their impact.”

The movement of Silverleaf Nightshade from one property to another occurs mainly through seed movement by stock, soil and fodder. Within a property, cultivation of root fragments and their subsequent growth is the main method of spread.

“In this on-going battle against Silverleaf Nightshade, prevention needs to focus on stopping weeds entering and becoming established on agricultural properties,” Mr Roberts said.

“High priority must be given to even the smallest infestation of Silverleaf Nightshade, which can be spot-sprayed and treated as part of an ongoing control and monitoring plan.”

Where colonies of Silverleaf Nightshade merge to become major infestations, treatment should be done with a view to reduce seed set and therefore the risk of seed movement posed by grazing stock.

The Natural Resources Northern and Yorke roadside control program has commenced and landholders who wish to do their own control work on half road widths that adjoin their property, may do so but are advised to contact an authorised officer prior to commencing such activities.

The Lower North NRM Group is planning two mid-march Silverleaf Nightshade workshops for members of the public which includes information from Dr. John Heap of NRM BioSecurity.

Dates will be advertised in the near future.

For further advice with plant identification and management, contact Natural Resources Northern and Yorke.

  • Grant Roberts, Landscapes Team Leader Lower North District. 0428 842 492
  • Kevin Teague, Landscapes Team Leader Upper North District. 0428 990 675
  • Ken Rudd, Landscapes Team Leader Yorke District. 0427 280 820

More information

Communications and Engagement Officer

88413446

louise.mcintosh@sa.gov.au