Tag Archives: Ragwort

Weed Workshop held at Callignee Hall

Weed workshop panorama

A weed workshop was recently held at the Callignee Hall where participants were treated to a BBQ meal followed by presentations from Latrobe Landcare Network Co-ordinator Peter Newgreen and Bob Wilson from the Department of Primary Industries.

Key messages on the night included the following tips

  • Weeds have a number of adverse affects on a range of things including, productivity, stock health, impact on native flora and fauna.
  • It is vitally important to be able to identify the weed you are a dealing with and know about its life cycle.
    1.  Annual species will only last one season, new plants will only grow by seed. They key to their control is to stop the plants producing and releasing seed.
    2. When Perennial plants die off on top, they may still have a healthy root system that is likely to re-sprout. To control them you need to kill the whole plant.
    3. Some species can reproduce vegetatively (e.g by fragments of stem, root or leaf) ploughing in or slashing these species can drastically increase their spread.
  • Learing some basic information about plant classification can make it easier to identify weeds. Certain features of a plant can you quickly narrow down the possibilities of what the exact species of weed could be.
  • The best way to control weeds is to stop them becoming established in the first place. Key sites to check for new infestations are along watercourses and drainage lines, as well as sites where introduced fodder has been spread, along roadways and traffic areas and around stock camps.
  • Integrated Pest Management – (Where a variety of actions are taken to control a weed. e.g use a variety of types of suitable herbicides, good pasture management etc are undertaken) is vital otherwise weeds are likely to become resistant to your control method.
  • People tend to notice weeds that are Yellow (e.g. Ragwort) or Purple (e.g. Pattersons Curse) but they don’t pay enough attention to grasses. People need to be viWeed Workshop Presentationgilant for serious weeds such as Serrated Tussock and African Love Grass.
  • Identification of weeds can be difficult, especially as some features used for identification of the plants are not always present e.g flowers/seed pods. If in doubt samples can be taken in to your local DPI office.
  • The worst established weeds in the district are Blackberry, Ragwort and there are some patches of Patterson’s Curse. Worst areas for weeds tend to be along watercourses and gullies.
  • There is a need for an ongoing education campaign for landholders especially ones that are new to the area and are not aware of the implications of allowing weeds on their property to continue to spread. Landcare can play a big part in this.

Weed Control Priorities

Where to start:

Planning to get the most efficient use of your weed control resources following a busfire is vital. Here are some tips.

  1. Target species that are likely to remain a major problem even when your bushland and pastures have recovered. e.g. Blackberries and Ragwort. Annual weeds like milk thistles and capeweed should not be a significant issue down the track as they are shaded out and outcompeted by native vegetation growth or well managed pastures.
  2. The first priority for best use of your time and resources should be to maintain your areas that are free of your target species or have the lowest infestations of weeds. i.e. This should mean these areas remain easy to manage and do not become a problem area in the future.
  3. Working to reduce the cover of larger infestations needs to be done stratetigically. Make a plan and work away at the edges of the affected sites over time.
  4. Avoid ground disturbance as much as possible as this will create ideal opportunites for further weed infestations to occur.
  5. Consider planting problem sites like gullies and waterways with native vegetation that will eventually provide competition and outgrow the weeds. Seek advice from Landcare about funding opportunites for projects and for information on what species to grow.
  6. Mapping the weeds you need to control (A GPS can help with this) can help when planning your weed management as well as way to monitor your progress. You could also set up photopoints to get a visual record of how your weed management is progressing.
  7. Prevention is better than the cure – Monitor carefully for new outbreaks of weeds especially in places such as, stock camps, drainage lines and sites where introduced fodder has been spread.

Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea