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Media Releases

Posted on: 10 September, 2021

Controlling Serrated Tussock in the Snowy Monaro

Serrated Tussock is a highly invasive weed classified as a priority weed in the Snowy Monaro. Under the NSW Biosecurity Act 2015, landholders have a duty to control Serrated Tussock where it adversely affects the economy, the environment or the community.

Look for Serrated Tussock on your property and create a simple map of where you found it. You can always call Council if you need help identifying weeds.
Tips for controlling Serrated Tussock:
• Make sure you have good year-round ground cover to prevent Serrated Tussock getting established, or if it’s already there, from spreading anymore.
• Understand that short-term weed control is only part of managing your land long-term.
• Plan to control all Serrated Tussock before it produces seeds in spring. One year of seeding means many years of weeding.
• Decide what control methods you adopt based on your land capability and long-term objectives:
o Manual removal or spot spraying is most effective at managing isolated or light infestations and ensures maximum protection of existing pastures
o Boom spraying, ploughing and long-term pasture renovation strategies are often most effective for managing heavy infestations on arable land (giving consideration to the legal restrictions on clearing native vegetation/grasslands)
o Aerial herbicide application may be a cost-effective means of controlling heavy infestations in inaccessible areas - seed and fertiliser can also be aerial broadcast to help re-establish pastures in these areas. Council coordinates an aerial program each autumn and can provide advice on necessary follow-up actions to minimise herbicide resistance and maintain maximum groundcover
o Expert advice should be sought before implementing any broadscale weed control program
• Non-chemical options include digging or chipping out the plants. Bare soil provides the perfect place for Serrated Tussock seeds to germinate so when chipping, aim to disturb as little of the ground as possible. You can scatter grass seed over larger bare areas to help stop weeds from growing.
• Consider whether you have the time, equipment and ability to do all the work yourself. You may prefer to engage a local weed control contractor. Council can provide a list of contractors operating in your area.
• Attend an accredited, chemical use and handling training course.
• It is widely recommended that herbicides flupropanate and glyphosate are used for controlling grassy weeds like Serrated Tussock.
o From September onwards, a mixture of flupropanate and glyphosate will prevent seed set.
o Use glyphosate alone only on actively growing plants. Glyphosate is absorbed through the leaves of plants and acts very quickly but is not selective and will kill most plants on contact.
o Flupropanate is a more selective, longer-acting herbicide that is absorbed mostly through the roots of plants. Flupropanate can take several months to kill grassy weeds and will remain active in the soil until about 100ml of rain has leached it through the root zone.
• The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) sets the rules and regulations for using chemicals for weed control (herbicides). Before spraying weeds, always read the label. The label will list when and how to apply the herbicide to be most effective and what safety measures you need to follow. The label will also explain how long you need to wait before letting stock back into a treated area. By using herbicides as directed on the label, you’ll keep yourself and your livestock safe, and keep the environment safe too.
• In the Snowy Monaro, using herbicides to control invasive grassy weeds can be carried out under APVMA permit 9792. This so-called ‘off label’ permit allows for the use of flupropanate and glyphosate at times and rates best suited to our local soils and growing conditions.
• Using what’s known as integrated weed management strategies prevents or reduces herbicide resistance in weeds. Don’t use one herbicide alone for ongoing weed control. Switch between different chemicals or methods of weed control where practical. If you notice any plants that are resistant to the herbicides you’re using, deal with them immediately. Use the “robust label rates” from the packaging of your chemicals, this will make sure they work well from the first time you use them. Keep records of all the weeds on your property, and what you do to control them. Contact Council or a local agronomist if you think there are weeds on your property that have become resistant to herbicides. These are usually small groups of plants that survive in a sprayed area where most other weeds have died.

Contact Snowy Monaro Regional Council if you have any questions regarding Serrated Tussock. Our friendly staff provide an onsite identification and advisory service and can help coordinate your efforts with neighbouring landowners. Call 1300 345 345.

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