|Waging war on western weeds: Queensland graziers have received a boost in the fight against prickly acacia and bellyache bush with the State Government announcing $1.88 million to combat the weeds.Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the weeds, which infest more than (read more) six million hectares of western grazing lands, were a serious problem for property owners from Julia Creek, to Hughenden and down to Longreach.“The ‘War on Western Weeds’ initiative will integrate latest research and on-ground control to fight the spread of these weeds and support our vision to double agriculture production by 2040,” Mr McVeigh said.“These weeds decrease pasture production, make mustering difficult, damage vehicle tyres, decrease access to water and result in declined land values.”Mr McVeigh said studies indicate that a 50 per cent prickly acacia canopy cover reduces Mitchell grass production by up to 100 per cent.“The Newman Government is accelerating our bio-control, chemical and mechanical control research to stop the spread and reduce these weeds in our grazing regions,” Mr McVeigh said.
“Over the past couple of years I have met and discussed weed control strategies with producers in the west.
“As part of this program we have three insects being tested for bio-control effectiveness.
“We are also undertaking herbicide misting trials as part of our on-ground control research.
“We will be working with industry and the community on ways to stop the spread of weed seeds to better protect productive grazing lands.
“We made a commitment at the last election to grow agriculture as one of the four pillars of our economy.
“Through this initiative we are taking action to strengthen the sector and support farmers to increase their productivity and profitability.”
For more information on prickly acacia and bellyache bush, visit www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au or call 13 25 23.
[ENDS] 17 April 2014
Media Contact: Lachlan Millar 0407 394 580