Perfect conditions for lovegrass to spread

Perfect conditions for lovegrass to spread

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African lovegrass infestations are rising across the Riverland and with a potentially damper than usual summer forecast, it is looking like the declared weed is set for a big season.

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African lovegrass infestations are rising across the Riverland and with a potentially damper than usual summer forecast, it is looking like the declared weed is set for a big season.

Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board district officer Jamie Courtney said this pest species was often found on roadsides and railway corridors, with the seed hitching a ride on vehicles, trucks and trains.

"It is particularly fond of the disturbed edges of roadsides, where it takes advantage of the extra water run-off.

"While some plants can hang on throughout the cooler months, we expect to see an increase in germination and growth."

Mr Courtney has become familiar with the pest plant and will be coordinating control efforts as district officers will be inspecting roadsides throughout the district.

"Over the past couple of years, we have been working to control African lovegrass in the priority locations," he said.

"Many of the larger infestations we have found are west of our district, located around the Waikerie and Ramco areas."

Mr Courtney said the majority of these infestations were along highways and major roads.

This season the team's efforts will be focused on controlling the minor outlying infestations to prevent further spread, then moving on to the larger ones.

There are a handful of isolated infestations on the eastern side of the Riverland.

Currently, those infestations are not as wide spread.

Mr Courtney said grasses could be difficult to identify, as sometimes there were only tiny differences that help distinguish between species.

"District staff are conducting inspections of known invasion pathways and major transport routes to find new infestations of this weed before it becomes established."

Each growing season, several rounds of control work are conducted to ensure any new growth does not get the opportunity to produce seed.

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