Home' Smart Farmer : March 2011 Contents March 2011
By CLAIRE STEPHENSON,
acting manager Sustainable
Agriculture and Training, Adelaide and
Mount Lofty Ranges NRM Board.
TAKING measures to prevent
the spread of weeds is the
most cost-effective way of
protecting your property from weed
invasion, and reducing long-term
property management costs.
The potential for weeds to conta-
minate fodder such as hay, silage or
grain is always present. Whenever
fodder or new stock are brought
onto a property from elsewhere,
there is a possibility that weeds may
also be introduced.
Hay, silage and grain can all con-
tain parts of weeds or seeds that are
capable of growing on your proper-
Livestock can also carry viable
seed in their hides/wool and feet and
in their gut which can remain viable
for up to 14 days.
Buying in fodder for supplemen-
tary feeding is a critical component
of stock management, particularly
during drought conditions.
The following strategies are avail-
able to help you reduce the risk of
introducing new weeds which can
cost time and money for control,
and revenue losses from production
Wherever possible, always pur-
chase stock and fodder from a local
reliable source to reduce the likeli-
hood of weeds becoming established
on your property.
Before purchasing, ask if the prop-
erty where the stock and/or fodder
originated is free of noxious weeds
such as silverleaf nightshade, salva-
tion Jane and Chilean needlegrass.
When buying from a local
landowner ask if you can see the
paddock where hay has been cut
Feeding in only one paddock can
lead to overgrazing and soil erosion.
However, you should limit your
feeding to a few locations on the
property. Then, if weeds do appear,
they can be more easily controlled.
Consider how the future manage-
ment of your property might impact
on new weed germination and
growth. For example some activities,
such as cultivation, suitability for
herbicide use, crop species selection
and stock management may impact
on how easily and quickly new weed
infestations can establish.
All new stock brought onto a
property should be placed into a
quarantine paddock for 14 days.
This will allow time for any weed
seed to be passed through the
intestinal system and restrict the
level of contamination to one small
Best practice is to ensure that fod-
der or stock that you purchase/bring
onto your property is free of both
weed seed and parts of weeds.
Check the hay feeding areas as
often as possible for any unfamiliar
plants. These are quite likely to be
weeds and should be quickly
removed. A rapid response is impor-
tant to ensure that they do not get
the chance to set seed, resulting in a
new generation of weeds.
You can take a sample of the plant,
sealed in a plastic bag, to your local
NRMB office for identification and
By determining what is already on
your property you will be able to
identify when something new starts
to grow. Also, knowing what type of
plant it is (such as annual or peren-
nial) and how it propagates itself
(such as seed, corms/bulbs and/or
rhizomes) will help in determining
the best control program required
and when to implement it.
Care should be taken to avoid the
spread of weeds onto road reserves
and adjacent land when transport-
Fodder loads must be secured
Watch out for weeds
Consider how the future management of your property might impact on new
weed germination and growth. For example some activities, such as
cultivation, suitability for herbicide use, crop species selection and stock
management may impact on how easily and quickly new weed infestations can
- Photo courtesy Chris Madigan
during transit to avoid blowing of
plant material and possible weed
Vehicles should be cleaned down
after deliveries of fodder in a desig-
nated area where weed seeds cannot
disperse and future weed germina-
tions can be easily detected and
Ongoing monitoring of local road-
sides and farm tracks should be con-
ducted for at least twelve months
Landholders and contractors need
to be aware that it is an offence to
move noxious weed seeds in fodder
or on machinery beyond a property
boundary. Under the Natural
Resources Management Act (2004), a
person can be prosecuted for trans-
porting anything contaminated with
certain declared noxious weeds. If
you intend to engage contractors
make a point of emphasising the
need to arrive and depart your prop-
erty free of weed seed, soil and veg-
etable matter on machinery, vehicles
Everyone has a duty of care and
responsibility to assist with the
process of halting the spread of
weeds into and around South
Australia, and interstate.
• Need to know more?
Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges
Natural Resources Management Board
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Building a Dam
Failure to hold water is the most common problem for farm dams.
Repairing a Dam
Structural repairs are expensive and not always successful. Sealant
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To create a permanent plug to seal the area where the water is being
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