11 September 2019

Management Plan for African Lovegrass on Snowy Monaro

| Alex Rea
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African lovegrass has clusters of seeds on the end of stems. Photo: M Campbell (DPI)

Snowy Monaro Regional Council is holding a series of African Lovegrass Management Plan workshops across the region.

Workshops have already been held in Jindabyne, Cooma, Berridale, Bombala, and Nimmitabel, however, you still have time to attend one in Adaminaby, Smiths Rd, Bredbo, and Michelago.

African lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula) has become a priority weed and a coordinated plan is needed to manage the species.

Growing throughout NSW, on roadsides, and in grazing land, African Lovegrass thrives on acidic, sandy soils with low fertility. It is a hardy, drought-tolerant perennial grass that grows in clumps and up to 1.2m tall. There are seven types of African lovegrass in Australia.

In the Snowy Monaro region, weed invasion, and in particular invasion by perennial grass weeds like Serrated Tussock, African Lovegrass, and Chilean Needle Grass, have the potential to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate native and introduced pastures.

Heavy African lovegrass infestation taking over most of a paddock. Photo: Greg Reid.

African Lovegrass is a poor feed for livestock and can quickly colonise overgrazed and disturbed sites, with the seeds spreading easily by wind, water, livestock, and machinery.

Identifying the grass is crucial as there are several similar looking grasses common in pastures, including desirable tussock grasses like Poa Tussock.

Maintaining healthy pastures is the best defence against African Lovegrass as it establishes in thin and bare patches.

Some recommendations to reduce the chance of African Lovegrass are:

  • Avoiding bringing in hay, grain or silage from African Lovegrass areas;
  • Limiting animal movement from infested areas into clean paddocks;
  • Quarantine new stock for at least 10 days;
  • Clean vehicles and machinery before coming onto your property;
  • Inspect hay or fodder for weed seeds;
  • Broadcast the seed of desirable species in disturbed pastures.

Snowy Monaro Regional Council is currently revising the Local Management Plan for African Lovegrass and invites comment on the DRAFT Plan via their website before 21 June 2019.

The next African Lovegrass Management Plan workshops are at:

  • Adaminaby – June 5, 5:00 -7:00 pm – Adaminaby Bowling Club
  • Smiths Rd – June 7, 5:30 pm – Smiths Rd Fire Shed
  • Bredbo – June 11, 5:30 – 7:30 pm – Bredbo Community Hall
  • Michelago – June 12, 4:30 – 7:00 pm – Michelago Community Hall

To participate in a workshop you need to register by emailing [email protected] and state the location of the workshop you wish to attend.

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