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Noxious Weeds Management Field Day - Hassall Park, O'Connell

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Noxious Weeds Management Field Day - Hassall Park, O'Connell

Mick Callan

The Upper Macquarie County Council, Oberon Council and Environment & Waterways Alliance will be hosting a Noxious Weeds Field Day for land owners and managers at Hassall Park O’Connell (on the Oberon side of the Fish River Bridge) on Friday 22 July 2016 at 10.30 am.

The purpose of the field day is to help land managers identify and control noxious weeds that occur in the Oberon and Bathurst areas with a particular focus on Chilean Needle Grass (Nassella neesiana) a Weed of National Significance.  Chilean Needle Grass is a highly invasive plant.  Infestations have been identified in both sown pastures and native grass lands within the Fish River Catchment area particularly along waterways.

Heavy infestations of Chilean needle grass can decrease productivity of pastures by as much as 50% during summer. It also causes injury to stock and downgrades wool, skins and hides with its long sharp seeds.

Seeds of Chilean Needle Grass can be spread along roadsides and other grassy areas by use of mowing and earth moving equipment, livestock, vehicles and floodwaters.

Chemical application alone will not control Chilean Needle Grass.  Oberon Council has established a demonstration control site at Hassall Park, O'Connell using a combination of chemical spraying, deep mulching and revegetation.  The field day will provide land holders with information about the importance of site specific strategies and management practices relevant to controlling this weed in pastures that may include the use of crop rotations, pasture sowing, herbicide control and grazing management.

Identification of Chilean Needle Grass is not easy as it is often confused with other Nassella species and native spear grasses.  Land managers need to know how to identify it and take prompt action if it is discovered.

The field day will also provide local land managers with the opportunity to discuss the identification and management of other noxious weeds including willows over morning tea with staff from the Upper Macquarie County Council.

For more information about the field day please contact Gillian Salmon at Oberon Council on 6329 8145or for information regarding Chilean Needle Grass contact Jill O’Grady - Weeds Officer UMCC on 0437 766 626.

This Noxious Weeds Field Day is part of the Fish River Rehabilitation project supported by Central Tablelands Local Land Services and the Environment & Waterways Alliance.