26 September 2023

New DPIRD guide muscles up to skeletons

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The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has released an updated guide to assist farmers to control skeleton weed infestations on their properties.

The Department’s Program Manager, Martin Atwell said the changes ensured growers had the latest information to combat the weed, which can reduce crop yields by competing for moisture and nitrogen.

“This management guide aims to increase the capacity of landholders to manage and eradicate skeleton weed infestations on their properties and to prevent further spread within the State,” Mr Atwell said.

“It includes information on weed identification and reporting, known distribution maps, treatments for infested paddocks and compliance requirements,” he said.

He said a significant update included new herbicide recommendations for control in crops and legume-based annuals during winter.

“It also includes a full list of trade names of products available for skeleton weed control and has an eradication treatment section for organic properties, plantations and urban properties,” Mr Atwell said.

“Without a coordinated program aimed at controlling the spread, skeleton weed would now be much more abundant and widely established throughout the cereal growing areas,” he said.

He said the Department’s extensive annual surveillance program was under way with growers encouraged to regularly monitor their paddocks over summer, when plants were actively flowering and setting seed.

Skeleton weed has upright and usually leafless stems, which gives the appearance of the skeleton of a plant. It is most recognisable when flowering during summer and autumn, when it has distinctive bright yellow daisy flowers.

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