How can I prevent new weeds from establishing?
By stopping their spread! Through assessing risks associated with pathways and sources for spread and identifying ways to reduce these risks. A resent study into the sources and pathways of weed spread found that the greatest source of introduced weed seed come from transport, it’s therefore not hard to see that the main pathway for its spread is generated through the movement of machinery and vehicles (fodder trade, livestock movement). Knowing the potential source and pathways for movement can be used to your advantage in preventing the spread of weeds onto or off your property. For example knowing that machinery can spread seed should encourage practices such as machinery hygiene or quarantine/containment to reduce the risk of spread.
Create windbreaks (eg. row of trees) to limit wind blown seed entering your property from adjoining areas.
Can’t the authorities fix it?
In theory, given the importance of preventing weed spread it should, however given the enormity of pathways for weed spread ( i.e. natural spread, humans- deliberate and accidental) it can be a thankless task. Across the state the biosecurity officers are currently investing a great deal of effort in preventing the spread of a number of weeds that are currently only found in isolation. Weeds considered ‘new and emerging’ that have the potential to cause serious environmental and economic impacts if left unchecked. Alternatively, weeds considered established within the state of Victoria although regulated, are not as stringently regulated as new and emerging weeds therefore it’s important to also be personally responsible for weed spread prevention.
Check your clothing (eg. socks, boots) after walking through weedy areas.
Top tips for preventing weed spread!
Bulk seed; when purchasing certified seed, obtain a statement of analysis. This will help identify any weed seed that may be present. Check a newly sown paddock regularly for signs of new weeds. Saving and using your own seed may be a preferable option in eliminating the risk of new invasive plant spread
Stock feed; where possible buy locally to reduce the chance of introducing new invasive plants
Stock; new stock should be confined to one paddock for a week after arrival (to allow for viable seed to be expelled through the digestive system). Check stock for invasive plant seed. Continue to check for plants emerging where the new stock have been.
Machinery; brush or wash down machinery before leaving an infested areas.
Soil disturbance; minimize the amount of soil disturbance when carrying out work.
Humans & animals; Check clothing for weed seeds. Limit access for cats and dogs into weedy areas during high risk periods (i.e. during seed set). Control vermin including foxes and rabbits on your property (vermin play a major role in spreading weed seed). Control established weeds that encourage birds to spread seeds i.e. blackberry.
Physical barriers can be put in place to reduce invasive plant spread by water (eg. hay bales). Before undertaking works on a waterway contact should be made with the Catchment Management Authority.
Use appropriate methods to treat plants that have the capacity to spread vegetatively. i.e. correct disposal of bulbs corns and tubers after removal.