Production

Qld Govt steps up war on western weeds

Beef Central, 22/04/2014

The Queensland Government has committed $1.88 million to fight prickly acacia and bellyache bush in northern and central Queensland.

State agriculture minister John McVeigh said the weeds, which infest more than six million hectares of western grazing lands, were a serious problem for property owners from Julia Creek, to Hughenden and down to Longreach.

The ‘War on Western Weeds’ initiative will integrate latest research and on-ground control to fight the spread of the weeds, Mr McVeigh said and were in line with the Queensland Government’s vision to double agricultural production by 2040.

“These weeds decrease pasture production, make mustering difficult, damage vehicle tyres, decrease access to water and result in declined land values.”

Mr McVeigh said studies indicate that a 50 per cent prickly acacia canopy cover reduces Mitchell grass production by up to 100 per cent.

“The Newman Government is accelerating our bio-control, chemical and mechanical control research to stop the spread and reduce these weeds in our grazing regions,” Mr McVeigh said.

“Over the past couple of years I have met and discussed weed control strategies with producers in the west.

“As part of this program we have three insects being tested for bio-control effectiveness.

“We are also undertaking herbicide misting trials as part of our on-ground control research.

“We will be working with industry and the community on ways to stop the spread of weed seeds to better protect productive grazing lands.

“We made a commitment at the last election to grow agriculture as one of the four pillars of our economy.

“Through this initiative we are taking action to strengthen the sector and support farmers to increase their productivity and profitability.”

Source: Qld Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. For more information on prickly acacia and bellyache bush, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.

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