Landholders urged to guard against skeleton weed threat

Midwest Times

With summer almost here, the State Government is reminding land-holders across the grainbelt to check their properties for the declared pest skeleton weed.

The destructive species competes for moisture and nutrients and can dramatically reduce crop yields, especially in lupins and cereals.

The department is encouraging landholders to inspect properties that are not known to be infested with skeleton weed, but are in areas where the weed is likely to spread.

Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development invasive species manager Martin Atwell said skeleton weed was found in paddocks at harvest time, and was most recognisable when flowering during summer and autumn.

“Skeleton weed can be more readily eradicated from a farm when it is found in the first year after establishment, therefore early detection is critical,” he said.

Mr Atwell said DPIRD would be contacting landholders in the coming weeks to nominate properties and paddocks for inspection.

Skeleton weed stems are upright, with small leaves or none at all, and the roots, stems and leaves release a white latex when cut.

It has yellow daisy flowers that usually blossom between December and May.

Skeleton weed can be reported by contacting the Pest and Disease Information Service on 9368 3080.

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