Herbicide injection guns used to help with blitz on weeds
Staff from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke have been using injection guns as an innovative way to efficiently control wheel cactus along the Barrier Highway, from Terowie to Paratoo, in the Southern Flinders Ranges.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Ranger Kevin Smith said that recent rains across the district had provided favourable conditions for carrying out chemical control on these noxious, declared plants.
“One of the control techniques that we have been using for wheel cactus is pad injection, which is more effective following rain as the plants are less stressed and pads have filled out, making them easier to inject,” Mr Smith said.
“The Southern Flinders Upper North team have several injecting guns that can be lent to landholders wishing to undertake wheel cactus control.”
Following consultation with the community through the Living Flinders Community Action Planning (CAP) workshops, a number of priority weeds have been identified across the district. This control program is targeting three of the seven identified priority weeds, African boxthorn, rope cactus and wheel cactus.
Mr Smith said that the team had already controlled over 1000 plants within the first week.
“To date, we have managed 922 African boxthorn plants, 313 wheel cactus plants and four rope cactus plants,” Mr Smith said.
“We will continue to tackle these invasive plants along the roadsides with the aim of stopping the introduction and minimising the establishment of new weeds.
“By targeting these plants now, we are giving adjoining landholders a buffer to work off to control populations going forward.
“We are encouraging all neighbouring landholders to join us to really make an impact on invasive weeds across the district, and also request that large infestations of weeds on public lands are reported to us.”
Landowners have a legal responsibility to control the spread of declared plants under the South Australian Natural Resources Management Act 2004.
African boxthorn, rope cactus and wheel cactus are three of the district’s seven priority weeds identified within the Southern Flinders Upper North NRM District Weed Action Plan.
This weed control program is being delivered by staff from the Northern and Yorke NRM Board as part of the Living Flinders program through funding from the Regional Landcare Program.
For assistance and advice on weed control and more information about how to get involved in training opportunities, future surveys and control trials, contact the Natural Resources Centre in Clare on 8841 3444.