Local Land Services among the actors affected by the spread of St. John’s wort | The daily leader of the North

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It’s the yellow flower that appears in paddocks across the state and while it may look attractive and harmless to the untrained eye, it wreaks havoc on growers. The Class 4 noxious weed in question is St. John’s Wort and it is currently enjoying stellar growing conditions in several parts of the state, including the Northern Plateaus, Central Plateaus, and Midwest. Recent flooding is the main cause for the spread of the weed and is carried by native and wild animals. Jodie Lawler, regional weed coordinator for West Central Local Land Services (LLS), said councils across the region regularly report new weed incursions. “Unfortunately flood waters often spread weeds to new areas and the rains and mild weather we had meant that many weeds flowered much longer and grew prolifically,” Ms Lawler said. “Weddin Shire Council has reported an increase in silver nightshade and Parkes Shire Council is seeing further incursions of noogoora burr. “Bogan Shire Council can see tiger pear and mother of millions a problem after wet year , and Forbes Shire Council is on the lookout for the Chilean needle.” Such is the impact of St. John’s wort that a group of several Coolah growers have banded together to fund aerial spraying of parts of the region. “This is one of the worst years for woody weeds like wort,” said Doug Arnott, president of the Coolah Pest Management Group. “People are seeing weeds in places they’ve never seen before. We have had to invest in helicopter spraying to keep it at a level that does not interfere too much with our operations. Callen Thompson, Joint Agricultural Advisor for the Central West LLS, urged primary growers to watch out for new incursions of weeds, especially along waterways and areas affected by floodwaters. “A lot of land managers are trying very hard to get weed control right now, which is really important,” Thompson said. on the control options. “Consider prioritizing control of high-value, high-risk areas. “If you’ve had large outbreaks, try targeting areas of high environmental or production value. Also read: “We also recommend treating areas where continuous control will be difficult. For example, controlling small incursions into rugged and hilly areas can be effective, while controlling dense populations in such areas can be expensive, time-consuming and very difficult. Phil Thompson, The Cliffs Australian White Stud, Molong, said all growers should be aware of the devastating impact St. John’s Wort could have on livestock as well as crop production, which has helped the remove from our home, but we are now keeping a watchful eye to make sure he doesn’t come back,” Mr Thompson said. “What we’ve seen from the sheep’s perspective is that if the sheep eat it will pass through their milk and affect the lambs as well.” I’ve only encountered photosensitivity once in my life and I’m 66 so it’s pretty rare but when it hits the impacts are downright gross. By the time you see it happening, it’s too late and their faces are peeling like the worst case of sunburn you’ve ever seen. “I think part of it comes down to a lack of understanding of the damage caused by this weed, while the other big reason for the Spread is simply inaction.” Our reporters work hard to bring local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content: Bookmark northdailyleader.com.au


Gregory M. Roy