Home' Smart Farmer : July 2014 Contents Smart pest control
Apart from the fact that it invades and displaces healthy pasture, what makes Cape tulip even
more threatening is that it is toxic to livestock.
Campaign focus on
NRM pest hit-list
SA'S eight natural resources regions have
launched a campaign to promote aware-
ness of common pest plants and animals.
Weeds and pest animals have a significant
impact on Australia's agricultural productivity
and the environment. In fact, pest plants such
as Bridal creeper and Silverleaf nightshade
result in national production losses and con-
trol costs of more than $4 billion a year.
It is a similar story for animal pests includ-
ing rabbits and foxes, where annual losses and
control costs work up to about $744 million.
Control programs on private property are
SA's best defense against the spread of pest
plants and animals.
The state's eight natural resources regions
work closely with landholders to ensure a
coordinated and integrated approach to con-
trolling pest plants and animals.
Natural resources staff are available to help
landholders plan their approach to control by
providing technical advice and support, infor-
mation resources, and access to specialised
Free workshops are held throughout the
year to identify pest plants and animals,
and manage them. These allow experienced
landholders to pick up the latest techniques
and provide newcomers with essential skills in
With the pest campaign in mind, this is the
ideal time to check paddocks and bushland
for Cape tulip -- a weed recognisable from its
orange-yellow to pink flowers.
Like many weeds, Cape tulip came to
Australia as a decorative garden plant but it
escaped into the bush and became an invasive
It is present in wetter areas of the Adelaide
and Mount Lofty Ranges region, in soils rang-
ing from sandy to heavy clay.
Apart from the fact that it invades and
displaces healthy pasture, what makes Cape
tulip even more threatening is that it is
toxic to livestock. For these reasons it is a
declared plant under the Natural Resources
Management Act, meaning a landowner has a
responsibility to control it on-property.
SA has two varieties of Cape tulip -- the one-
leaf Moraea flaccida and two-leaf M. Miniata.
They appear as grass-like perennials, growing
to a height of 60 centimetres with narrow
curved leaves and flowering stems shooting
from the leaf base.
Given its toxicity, stock selectively graze
on more palatable plants. This can result in
the overgrazing of desirable pasture species,
and allow Cape tulip to spread even further,
decreasing stocking capacity.
Time to control
Like other members of the iris family, this
weed grows in the cooler months which
makes winter the ideal time to control them.
In practical terms, the aim should be to
eradicate small, contained patches of the weed
and to control larger infestations.
Control is most effective at the point where
the corm is exhausted and has a soft, shriv-
elled, sultana-like appearance. The easiest way
to determine this is to dig up some plants and
take a look.
If you are controlling a larger infestation by
cultivation, plough to about 10cm depth and
then cultivate to lift and destroy the bulbs.
Follow this by sowing with vigorous pasture.
Be aware that cultivation through patches
at other times will spread bulbils (immature
bulbs) or seed.
If controlling with a herbicide, a range
of products are suitable for use with Cape
tulip. However, you should seek professional
advice on the most effective herbicide for your
If the infestation consists of odd plants or
small patches, carefully grub the bulbs and
burn, or spot-spray.
• Need to know more?
Contact your nearest Natural Resources Centre at
Gawler: 8 Adelaide Road, 08 8523 7700; Lobethal:
1 Adelaide Lobethal Road, 08 8389 5900 or
Willunga: 5 Aldinga Road, 08 8550 3400.
CITY OF PROSPECT
CITY of Prospect mayor and Local
Government Association president David
O'Loughlin was not happy about the
federal government's May Budget.
He said all SA communities would
suffer from the Abbott Government's
decision to jettison the Local Roads
Supplementary Funding Program, which
supplemented a major national road
funding program known as Identified
Local Road Grants.
"This is a body blow for councils and
their communities. This funding was
pivotal to the delivery of good road
infrastructure across SA," he said.
"It's the government's right, with
Parliament's support, to reduce govern-
ment spending as it sees fit. However, we
are genuinely shocked that the Abbott
Government has knowingly applied a
cut that only affects SA, and now funds
our local roads at a lower level than any
Mayor O'Loughlin said there were other
cuts and one new fund -- all of which
appeared to be equally shared across
"None of these go close to filling the
$18 million pot hole they have created
just for SA," he said.
"This will impact on every SA road user,
Mayor O'Loughlin said former Prime
Minister Howard had introduced the
Supplementary Funding in 2004 after a
Parliamentary Committee reported that
the core funding formula was flawed.
"Without the supplementary funding,
SA -- under the current, flawed funding
formula -- receives only 5.5 per cent of
Local Roads Funding under the Federal
Assistance Grants Program whereas we
have 11pc of local road length and more
than 7pc of the nation's population," he
"The supplementary funding brought us
up to 7.9pc of the funding.
"Mr Howard then asked the
Commonwealth Grants Commission to
recommend a fair funding split and in
2006, it said we should get 8.9pc of the
Mayor O'Loughlin said he was disap-
pointed that SA Coalition MPs had not
fought harder for the funding.
The LGA raised this during the federal
election, with the new government after
the election including Deputy Prime
Minister Truss, at the LGA AGM in
October, in a delegation to Canberra
in March, in letters to MPs and more
recently, following media speculation
that the funding was at risk.
"They have all been aware of the
background to this and yet it has been
cut with no similar cuts to funding to
other states," he said.
"Ultimately councils have two choices
-- they cut road programs by $18m or
they raise council rates to cover the gap.
Either way it's a bad outcome for local
Mr O'Loughlin said that in addition to
the loss of SA's $18 million per annum in
supplementary local road funds councils
will lose about $6m expected growth in
financial assistance grants.
He said what looked like possible
sweeteners in the form of a future
increase to Roads to Recovery funding
and the Federal Black Spots Program
would be dependent on development of
the federal government's proposed Asset
Recycling Program. There is no guarantee
any of these funds will find their way
down to council level.
A new national Bridges to Renewal
program of $60m a year would provide
funding on an application-competitive
basis, but there is no guarantee SA will
receive a cent.
Control programs on private
property are SA's best defense
against the spread of pest plants
Let us plant
an idea in
Phone: (08) 8406 0500
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