Spotlight on Silverleaf Nightshade management

News article |

Tackling one of Australia’s most serious perennial weeds – Silverleaf Nightshade – is on the agenda at upcoming workshops in the mid-North.

The workshops run by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke, will be held in Jamestown and Balaklava during March to update landholders and the community on the latest research and management strategies for Silverleaf Nightshade.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Team Leader, Grant Roberts said, even the smallest infestations of Silverleaf Nightshade need to be a priority, and if landholders are free of the weed, then they need to find out what they can do to keep it that way.

Silverleaf Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) was first identified in the northern agricultural districts in the 1940s and has since infested thousands of hectares of agricultural land in the Northern and Yorke region. The weed significantly reduces crop and pasture production by competing for space and resources and can be toxic to stock and horses.

“Landholders’ strategies can very quickly move from eradication attempts to the less effective approach of trying to manage and minimise the impact of established plants,”Mr Roberts said.

The workshops will feature two guest presenters, Dr John Heap and Phil Bowden. Dr Heap, BioSecurity SA’s National Coordinator for Silverleaf Nightshade, was instrumental in developing the Silverleaf Nightshade Strategic Plan. The plan focuses on preventing new infestations from establishing; strategically managing established infestations; and improving management capabilities.

Phil Bowden works on the Silverleaf Nightshade project, a collaboration between the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and the Murrumbidgee Landcare group.

The project is using large-scale demonstration sites to compare new management approaches with standard landholder practices and encouraging landholders to adopt best practice management strategies.

“The most effective strategies for preventing Silverleaf Nightshade from entering or establishing on properties will be presented alongside information on how to manage major infestations,” said Mr Roberts.

The Jamestown workshop will be held on Thursday, 20 March 2014 in the Sir Hubert Wilkins Visitors Centre, Murchland Drive, from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

The Balaklava workshop will be held on Friday, 21 March 2014 in the Balaklava Sports Club, Balaklava Showgrounds, from 8.30am to 12.30pm.

A light morning tea will be provided at the workshops. To RSVP contact the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Centre on 08 8841 3444 or jessie.nicolson@sa.gov.au.

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