Pooling experience to beat African Rue on the Broughton River

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An informal information session will be held near Koolunga this week to discuss ways of combating African Rue, a pest plant that is becoming established along the Broughton River.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) Team Leader Landscapes, Grant Roberts, said the event will bring together people with knowledge and experience in dealing with the pest plant.

"African Rue is extremely hard to get rid of once it’s established and, potentially, may be more difficult to control than Silverleaf Nightshade," Mr Roberts said.

"Being such a deep-rooted plant it needs repeated treatments over several years to be destroyed. We need to act now to stop it from becoming established across the Broughton catchment."

A native of northern Africa, the Middle East and Tibet, African Rue is equally at home in rural South Australia. A vigorous summer-growing plant, so unpalatable that even rabbits won’t eat it, African Rue is mostly confined to the Broughton River and its floodplains.

"Our main concern is that some areas of the Broughton River are really difficult to access and control can only be carried out on foot with knapsacks, so it poses a real threat to the river system," Mr Roberts said.

African Rue has properties that inhibit the growth of other vegetation, enabling it to out-compete native grasses and shrubs. The drought-resistant perennial is spread by seed, suckering and fragments of rootstock that are severed and moved during cultivation.

The aim of the Koolunga gathering is to improve identification skills, share knowledge about control techniques and to identify other locations where the plant has been observed.

"NRNY will bring information about control options and plant behaviour to the table," Mr Roberts said, "but landholders will have a much better idea of the extent of the African Rue problem across the catchment."

Anyone interested in attending the 90 minute information session should meet at White Cliffs

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