A Resource to Enable Accurate Identification and Effective Control of High Priority Weeds in the Molonglo Catchment
Weeds are a serious environmental and agricultural problem throughout Australia, costing in excess of $4 billion each year in management and lost production, with a similar figure estimated for impacts on environmental conservation, amenity and tourism (Australian Weeds Strategy 2006).
In native bushland, weeds outcompete indigenous flora, smothering the vegetation and, in severe cases, creating a monoculture lacking the diversity to sustain populations of native fauna. In agricultural settings, weeds reduce land value by infiltrating crops and paddocks, contaminating produce, decreasing carrying capacity, restricting stock and human access and causing health problems to animals and humans. Weeds also reduce the amenity value of natural areas by hindering or, in some cases, entirely preventing access for recreational purposes.
Many of the problematic species have escaped from gardens and ornamental plantings to become widespread. Gardeners and hobby farmers, of whom there are many in the Molonglo Catchment, have an opportunity to effectively manage existing weeds to prevent the problem from worsening and prevent additional species from escaping and invading the natural bushland. A strategic approach to weed management is required to address the problem, and weed control needs to be considered a priority by all members of the community, whether responsible for a broad scale farming enterprise or a suburban back yard.
To combat weed issues in the Molonglo Catchment, the Molonglo Catchment Group is coordinating a Weed Education Initiative. The Initiative aims to raise awareness of the issues and build the capacity of the community to deal with the current and future weed threat. This information pack is designed to help you, as a member of the Molonglo Catchment community, identify problem species and make it easy for you to carry out your responsibilities as a land manager/occupier in controlling serious invasive plants. Using the information in this pack will assist you to control weeds more effectively (thus saving money, effort and time), improve the productivity of your land, be a good neighbour and enhance our natural landscapes.
Implementing coordinated, strategic weed control now will save future costs and ensure we leave a legacy, rather than a liability, to future generations.
Landholders at a weed information session coordinated by the Molonglo Catchment Group
What is a weed?
A weed can be defined as any plant which is undesirable in its location and/or characteristics. For the purpose of this package, the term relates to those species which cause significant damage to the environment, amenity or agricultural productivity.
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