Blast woody weeds in three steps
Blackberry and gorse are both classified as Weeds of National Significance. This is due to their invasive nature, potential to spread, economic and environmental impacts. On farms they reduce pasture production and thereby stocking rates, restrict access to water and land, and provide food and shelter for feral animals. Fire hazard is also increased due to the large amount of dead material within blackberry thickets and the inherent flammability of gorse. All of these aspects dramatically reduce property values and directly impact the viability of your clients.
One berry from a blackberry plant may contain up to 80 seeds and plants may produce up to 13,000 seeds per square metre. A mature gorse infestation can produce 6 million seeds per hectare each year, and seeds may remain viable in the soil for up to 30 years. Ensuring these plants do not produce seeds is critical to the long-term capacity of affected areas.
Dow AgroSciences’ three cycle plan offers a solution. Stinger™ is the most effective and economical herbicide to manage wall-to-wall weeds. The following year, clean up any regrowth or new seedlings with Grazon™ Extra. This ensures your first year investment is protected. The third step requires a thorough inspection to tidy up any weeds with Vigilant™ II. Smash up. Clean up. Touch up.
- Cycle 1. Knockdown large infestations with the aim of reducing the weed infestation to a more manageable level. Stinger is an economical first strike for graziers and land managers with extensive infestations of blackberry. It is a new broad spectrum woody weed, pasture, winter cereal and fallow herbicide. The label covers an extensive list of weeds and a range of application techniques including high volume, boom spray, aerial (helicopter only), low volume high concentrate (gas gun) and use in tolerant grass pastures/pasture renovation. Stinger contains 375 g/kg aminopyralid and 300 g/kg of metsulfuron-methyl. Integrated Vegetation Management Specialist, Mr Geoff Messer, advises to “allow funds for a follow-up treatment in the next cycle. Protect areas which are most at risk of further infestation first. Consider treating invasion pathways first. Prioritise areas with increased threat of vermin.”
- Cycle 2. Follow up previously treated areas with Grazon Extra. Grazon Extra is primarily used for brushweed control plus difficult to control broadleaf weeds in fallow. The label also covers an extensive list of weeds and a range of application techniques. Grazon Extra contains the powerful combination of 300 g/L triclopyr, 100 g/L picloram and 8 g/L aminopyralid. Mr Messer’s tips for this stage are to “prioritise follow up treatments to capitalise on Cycle 1. Follow up areas where re-infestation can quickly reoccur. Follow up areas where containment is important. Monitor regularly for possible regrowth.”
- Cycle 3. Check previously treated areas and re-treat as necessary with Vigilant II. Vigilant II is ready to use straight out of the pack with no mixing, no mess and no fuss. Vigilant II allows you to follow up your woody weed treatment without the need for spray rigs or heavy machinery. Vigilant II herbicide can be used all year round, meaning that problem regrowth can be treated at any time, not just when the plan is actively growing.
Mr Messer recommends at this stage to “continue to check over time to ensure no seedlings get away. Ensure pasture forms an effective competitor to regrowth or seedlings. Clean up small scattered areas first. Monitor regularly for possible regrowth.”
Dow AgroSciences’ sales and biology staff will be delivering this message at noxious weeds conferences and to council weeds offices, as well as offering training for staff in distribution to ensure rural stores can answer questions from clients looking for solutions to their weed problems.
Also refer to the Dow AgroSciences website www.woodyweedspecialists.com.au for further details of the three cycle program.