Maintaining a competitive cover of desirable perennial species can restrict weed germination.
A weed is a plant in the wrong place at the wrong time. Plants are weeds if they cause environmental harm, choke out native vegetation or harm agricultural production.
Landowners are legally responsible for controlling certain types of weeds on their property, including declared noxious weeds, and should seek advice from their local council or Local Land Service office about noxious weeds in their area and weed control.
Weeds can occur on land and in water. Some aquatic weeds reduce water quality by blanketing the entire surface of farm dams, or by blocking or reducing water inflows. On rural properties, it is important to check not only pastures, but also farm dams and waterways for weeds.
Weeds can be a major problem on rural land because of the impact they have on pastures, crops and stock. The importance of managing weeds in pastures is recognised across the catchments as an important way to improve land productivity and sustainability.
Weeds are generally a sign of pasture in decline and land degradation, not the cause. Determining the cause of pasture decline and taking action early is the best way to prevent further loss of desirable species and minimise weed invasion.
Weeds can be spread by:
- seed brought for sowing, stock feed, stock, machinery, water and wind
- deliberate introduction, such as willows planted to stabilise banks
- lack of awareness about or ability to identify weeds
- lack of motivation or resources to control weeds
- poor land management, such as overgrazing and undergrazing
- herbicide resistance due to over-reliance on certain chemicals.
Weeds are best controlled through an integrated approach that involves:
- learning to identify weed species
- retaining groundcover of competitive perennial pasture
- keeping weeds out of clean areas
- using targeted grazing pressure and rest periods
- strategic use of herbicides
- using an approach of repairing, rejuvenating and as a last measure, resowing degraded pastures
- developing an integrated weed management plan.
What you can do
- Maintain a competitive cover of desirable perennial species to restrict weed germination.
- Control infestations by continuously reducing the area of land infested by weeds.
- Use a combination of grazing, chemical and mechanical strategies as part of an integrated weed management plan.