Serrated tussock field day success

LANDHOLDERS flocked to the serrated tussock field day in Dalgety recently hosted by Snowy River Landcare.

The field day organisers Shane and her husband Gordon Kimber were delighted with the roll up of 50 people.

"To get 50 people along was great," they said.

Mrs Kimber said the event was promoted by the Snowy River Shire Council. "We are very grateful to Don Clinton the head of weeds in council. He really got behind it and sent out letters about the day and included Snowy River Landcare membership forms", Mrs Kimber said.

"Council is working so well with us, it's magic.

"We now have increased our membership to about 80. Twenty extra people have come on board and joined Snowy River Landcare."

The field day started at a property on the Snowy River in Dalgety where Cooma Department of Primary Industries' agronomist Luke Pope and Snowy River Shire Council vegetation management officer Charlie McPhie helped landowners identify serrated tussock and gave them pointers on management strategies.

Farmer Phil Daley gave a case study of his battle with serrated tussock on his 147ha property and shared his "light bulb" moment when he realised "no weed equals no weed seed and no weed seed equals no weeds".

"It is a mind set thing," Mr Daley said.

"You need to set a goal to work hard to make it happen. My goal was to spray all year round. There is never a bad time to spray [serrated tussock]."

Snowy River Landcare treasurer Shane Kimber said the field day was part of the program to assist landowners fight heavy infestations of the weed made possible with a $128,000 grant from the federal government's Caring for our Country program.

Snowy River Landcare members are also participating in a subsidised contractor spraying program which provides a spraying contractor on a 50/50 cost share basis, with Landcare covering the full cost of the flupropanate (Taskforce) herbicide and the landowners splitting the cost of the contractors.

"Landowners in other areas where there are more scattered infestations of serrated tussock will be offered herbicide with Landcare covering half the cost," Mrs Kimber said.

The program aims to control heavy infestations and scattered pockets of serrated tussock around Dalgety and along the Snowy River.

The field day also assisted landholders to put together strategic management plans for their own properties for serrated tussock control.

Serrated tussock is classified as a weed of national significance is a perennial, drought-resistant, highly invasive tussock-forming grass which is a serious weed on the Monaro and along the Snowy River in particular.

It is highly adapted to a range of environments, seeds prolifically and is difficult and costly to control.

Large volumes of seed are spread long distances by wind; allowing new populations to establish over large areas.

Serrated tussock is not palatable for livestock and has little feed value. Significant infestations will dramatically reduce carrying capacities.

Serrated tussock was first introduced to Australia as early as 1900 and was first identified in NSW in 1935 from plants collected near the Yass River.

It has now been declared noxious in many parts of NSW, Victoria and Tasmania and is a Weed of National Significance (WoNS).

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