Chilean needle grass is one of our nastier weeds. It can reduce pasture productivity by up to 50%, and its sharp seeds can injure stock and downgrade the quality of wool and hides. And, like all good weeds, it can out compete native grass species, which makes it a threat to biodiversity.
With the help of a grant from the Mount Alexander Shire’s Community Grants Program FOBIF has completed a 2013 program of mapping and treatment of infestations of CNG, mainly in Castlemaine streets. The intention is to stop the spread of CNG. Mapping and identification has also been done on Texas Needle Grass, another weed causing concern in the southern part of Mount Alexander Shire and into Macedon Ranges Shire.
As the management of weeds on roadsides is now a Council responsibility there is a need for a closer working relationship between landholders and the Council: weeds do not recognise boundaries! Local Landcare groups have been working with Council on Weeds on Roadsides projects throughout the shire – these projects recognise the need for working together and providing some resources to support work.
There is a draft Needle Grass strategy on Connecting Country’s website to provide further information on CNG and other needle grasses. The main aim of the strategy is to stop the spread of these weeds that can cause so much damage and cost to agriculture as well as to nature.
Thanks for highlighting this issue. I am one of a small group of landholders in Green Gully who have also been working on this issue for a couple of seasons as there is a significant infestation here on the highway and local roadsides as well as on private land: and it has really expanded with the rain this year prompting us to develop a local plan in place. Thanks to locals, VicRoads and the Shire we have been able to take some extra control measures this year. Now our next challenge is to get more locals involved. It would be great to link up with other groups and share knowledge and success stories.