Draft weed management plan for grader grass
The Department of Land Resource Management (DLRM) has developed a Draft Weed Management Plan for grader grass and is seeking community comment on the plan.
DLRM Principal Weed Officer, Rowena Eastick saidvast areas of northern Australia were susceptible to grader grass invasion, including ecologically and economically important areas of the Northern Territory.
“A proactive approach to monitoring control and spread prevention is needed to protect our resources from the impacts of grader grass,” she said.
“Eradication of small isolated infestations can be achieved if grader grass is located and controlled prior to seed set and then follow-up management occurs. Once grader grass becomes established, the investment required to control or contain it increases significantly.
“Grader grass is widespread throughout much of the Katherine region and presents significant management challenges on a range of land tenures. Preventing the spread of this weed into areas that are currently free of grader grass is a high priority.”
Grader grass is a strong grass that can out compete native vegetation, leading to reductions in pastoral productivity and reduced biodiversity. It can be confused with a native desirable perennial species, kangaroo grass (Themeda triandra).
Grader grass is capable of invading native bushland, roadsides and disturbed or overgrazed areas. Livestock may graze young plants but find mature grader grass unpalatable. If grader grass becomes dominant in a pasture there is a loss of productivity and increased fire hazard.
Grader grass seed is often spread by machinery contaminated with seeds. This predominately occurs along corridors where slashers and graders operate, however it can also be spread by animals, and in-fill, gravel and hay.
Given the level of risk posed by grader grass and the already extensive level of establishment in the Northern Territory, grader grass is declared under the Act as: Class B: growth and spread to be controlled; and Class C: Not to be introduced into the NT (all Class B areas are also classified as Class C).
“Strategic and collaborative approaches are imperative if further spread is to be prevented,” Ms Eastick said.
The consultation on the draft plan will be open for comment for four weeks, closing on Friday 25 March 2016.
To view the draft Plan or provide feedback please visit www.nt.gov.au/weeds or call 8999 4567.