As we come into Spring, we tend to see a flush of growth in the paddocks and on our roadsides. Spring is a great time to identify weeds which are otherwise hard to see on your roadside. This project is targeting two more recent weeds to our catchment, Chilean Needle Grass and African Lovegrass.
You can find out how to identify these species on the Agriculture Victoria website:
What roadsides can we expect to find these species?
African Lovegrass has only been sighted on the Moyhu Hansonville Road, Dundas Lane, and Laceby Glenrowan Road. However, Chilean Needle Grass is unfortunately on quite a few roadsides in our area. Consult our map below which marks the sites of all sighted Chilean Needle Grass with a yellow dot (this mapping completed in 2018 for our Group).
What is being done about it?
Council’s roadside weed spraying contractors are vigilantly targeting these patches of both grasses. Crews typically spray for these invasive grasses in late October through to late November – they wait for flowering to be able to clearly identify and target these grasses.
Chilean Needle Grass produces seeds in the base of the plant, inside the stems and the panicle (head) of the plant. Slashing alone does not control this grass and can actually cause large amounts of seed to be produced in the stems and in basal growth. Seed has a long viability in the soil and so management of this grass while patches are still small is critical to ensure populations do not rapidly expand.
Please avoid slashing infected roadsides during October and November, as the spray crew will not be able to find and spray individual plants or patches.
Secret control mix
The crew use Flupropanate at a rate of 3L/1000L water and apply at a rate of 1000L/ha. It needs this high application rate for the water to wet the ground at the base of the plants (as there are seeds stored in the basal roots that need to be sterilised by the herbicide). Glyphosate is also added at a rate of 1.5L/1000L water, which results in a better kill of the grass than if the Flupropanate is used on its own. Flupropanate is actually a seed steriliser and can continue to work in the soil for the next three years to prevent further germination.
A blue dye is always added to the mix, so it will be obvious if you have Chilean Needle Grass or African Lovegrass that has been sprayed on your roadside. Take note of the blue patches on your roadsides. Please do not drive vehicles or machinery through these areas, particularly during Spring, as you risk spreading the seeds to other parts of your property (and its hard to get rid of these terrible invasive grasses once you have them!).
Revised mapping from November 2021
The Rural City of Wangaratta has recently updated the mapping for Chilean Needle Grass in our local area. Please consult the map below for a revised list of roadsides with CNG observed.
Please ring Sally Day (Project Officer) on 0437 136 162 if you have any questions.