The heat is on for summer weeds
18 December 2017
As the weather heats up, land managers are reminded that it is not too late to guard against silverleaf nightshade (solanum elaeagnifolium).
Warm conditions and recent rainfalls have promoted vigorous growth, with many plants already flowering. The best time to undertake control is now, before berries have a chance to set.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Team Leader, Paul O’Leary said that it is important for landholders to remain vigilant and take action on any infestation sightings.
“Silverleaf nightshade is a deep-rooted perennial plant and can greatly affect winter crop yield through water and nutrient uptake,” Mr O’Leary 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.”
First identified in the northern agricultural districts in the 1940s, silverleaf nightshade has spread far and wide, infesting thousands of hectares across the agricultural area of the Northern and Yorke region.
The transmission of silverleaf nightshade from one property to another occurs mainly through seed movement by stock, soil and fodder, while 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 O’Leary 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 this invasive weed merge to become major infestations, treatment should be done with a view to reduce seed set and therefore the risk of seed movement by grazing stock.
Under the NRM Act 2004 the Northern and Yorke NRM Board is responsible for the control of roadside weeds, with associated costs being recoverable from adjoining landholders. Landholders wishing to undertake their own roadside weed control are urged to contact their local Council to ensure compliance with any local regulations.
For further advice regarding plant identification and management, contact the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3444, or click here to access fact sheets and downloadable copies of the PIRSA Weed Control Handbook.
The latest version of the Biosecurity SA Weed control app is now available from the App Store and Google Play for Apple and Android devices.