On Friday 24 May, UHWA  staff discovered an infestation of Parthenium weed in the Muswellbrook Shire Council area.  

It is suspected that machinery is the probable pathway for this weed as earthmoving equipment has been used recently in the area.

Parthenium weed is identified as a significant biosecurity risk in NSW and is listed as Prohibited Matter in Schedule 2 of the Biosecurity Act 2015.

Parthenium weed invades pastures and crops and has been linked to severe human health issues including respiratory problem and severe dermatitis.

Recently a number of infestations have been found across NSW with some of them linked to drought feeding of stock with feeds sourced from Queensland.

The Authority is asking landholders to check any stock feed sites or where earthworks have recently been undertaken for this or for the presence of any other strange plant.

If you suspect that you have an infestation of this or any other plant you are not sure of please contact the Authority.

This link contains some identification and other information on Parthenium weed.

The Authority recently adopted a Targeted Invasive Plant Eradication Policy.

This policy contains provision for assistance to be offered to landholders to achieve a localised eradication of specified invasive plants in areas identified by the Authority.

The areas selected to conduct the initial round of the program include Sandy Creek, Muswellbrook; Carrowbrook, Singleton; Merriwa River, Merriwa and Pages River, urban Murrurundi. Invasive plants include African Boxthorn, Honey Locust, Green Cestrum and African Olive.

An unfortunate side effect of a drought breaking is usually an increase in the presence of new and existing weeds on a property. These weeds have the potential to cause further economic and production losses to an already drought-impacted farming enterprise.

New weeds can decrease productivity through competition with pastures, poison stock, and increase weed control costs significantly.

What we can do…

To assist landholders recover from drought UHWA , in partnership with Hunter LLS, are offering a free weed identification and control service for fodder feeding sites that have foreign plants germinating in them following rain.

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

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