A new guide has been launched to help Queensland primary producers reduce the risk of spreading weeds when sourcing hay and other fodder for their cattle.
AgForce weeds committee chair Ivan Naggs said demand for fodder had skyrocketed as a result of the ongoing drought, and it was important primary producers took steps to prevent the spread of weeds when sourcing and transporting fodder for their cattle.
“During dry seasons and in times of drought when there is reduced pasture cover, producers need to source fodder like hay, silage and forage sorghum to feed their cattle and keep them healthy,” he said.
“Although many sources of fodder are sourced locally and are quality assured with minimal weed risk, at times fodder of unknown quality may need to be imported from further afield, which could contain seeds and weed species new to a region.
“Many weeds can be toxic to cattle, while the competition from weeds with pasture leads to reduced stocking capacity and erosion. With weeds already costing Queensland an estimated $600 million every year, it’s so important primary producers do whatever they can to reduce weed spread risks and this new guide will help them do just that.”
The ‘Reducing weed risks from fodder’ guide was prepared by the Queensland Herbarium’s Weed Spotters Network and AgForce with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.
Queensland Herbarium Science Leader Ailsa Holland said land managers should always be on the lookout for new emerging weeds to their area and seek identification from their local trusted networks.
“The Queensland Herbarium offers a free weed identification service, with producers asked to either send in a photo or a plant specimen,” she said.
“The new fodder weed guide provides easy to follow steps on how to identify weeds, descriptions of the most common fodder weeds and a range of useful website links providing more information.”