Feed or foe from fodder

Hunter Local Land Services is urging producers to be checking their paddocks regularly for new weed incursions, after several sightings of unwanted weeds in our region. Of particular concern is the number of weeds emerging in sites used to feed out fodder during the drought.

“There is still enough moisture and warmth in the ground for weeds to germinate and with the good rainfall we saw in late summers and early autumn it has provided ideal conditions,” said Matt Kennedy Hunter Local Land Services’ Regional Weeds Coordinator.

“We’re asking producers to be vigilant in checking any spots they fed out fodder brought in during the drought so we can stop incursions of new weeds into our region."

The discovery of parthenium weed in two Upper Hunter locations over the last week is a good example of best practice weed identification and management.

“While the first incursion has been linked to machinery, the second it’s believed is the result of a fodder drop during the drought," said Matt.

“In the more recent case, a landholder reported an unusual looking specimen in their paddocks to the Upper Hunter Weeds Authority, and it has now been confirmed as Parthenium Weed and the site controlled,” said Matt.

“It is advised when handfeeding to restrict fodder distribution to certain containment paddocks so as not to risk spreading imported weeds across your property.”

Now the seasons have improved, weeds are quickly taking hold in some pastures. If you wish to report a suspicious weed, please contact your local council weed officer.

“Producers need to be keeping a close eye on emerging weeds It is easier to eradicate these weeds in small patches now then to be managing them for generations to come, so if producers see something unusual they need to get in contact with their local authorities” said Matt.

“It is recommended when purchasing fodder you request a Fodder/Commodity Declaration, so any weed infestations emerging from purchased fodder can be traced back to the source.”

If you need advice or support managing your livestock feeding and drought management, please contact the Hunter Local Land Services Agricultural Extension Team by calling 1300 795 299 or visit https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/regions/hunter

You can read more at: https://www.lls.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1156564/LLS_Weeds_in_Hay_Bookl et_LR-1-FINAL.pdf

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