Project Results and Conclusions - Biological Weed Control with Livestock Project
This project has proved the concept that Biological Weed control via grazing is a possibility in the Australian landscape. This has been done on a practical level that can be applied where the management skills are high and the knowledge of new skill sets is present.
These methods could be seen as the forerunner for a whole suite of future management tools that could be adapted for many less desirable plants in the landscape. Biological control methods versus traditional and conventional approaches offer the ultimate long term benefit of adaptability.
Chemical and physical means of weed destruction place selection pressures on weed populations that further raise future resistance. Biological approaches will constantly adapt as the weed itself adapts within the local environments. It is here that livestock are a long term management option as their behaviours affect the physiology of subsequent generations through epigenetic triggers.
So for immediate progress on existing and worsening Serrated Tussock situations, livestock offer a choice that can assist landholders to manage so that this plant is part of the plant community rather than a dominant part.
Further trials of these approaches across a wider area would be warranted if only to break existing prejudices toward new paradigms. Further quantifying the effects and long term progress would also be useful for progressing knowledge and extension.
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This project has been funded by the Central West Catchment Management Authority and has been undertaken by Watershed Landcare utilising funding from the Australian and NSW Government.