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    Landcare News Items

    Coolatai Grass Control

    Coolatai2New England Weeds Authority (NEWA) is diverging from the normal spray program to work on Coolatai Grass east of the Great Dividing Range.

    The Drought has hit the New England tablelands hard and the dry conditions are giving NEWA an opportunity to work on Coolatai Grass.

    Coolatai Grass (Hyparrhenia hirta) is widespread on roads, travelling stock routes and grazing lands in the north-eastern of the State and is moving into private and public lands in the New England region.

    NEWA has a proactive approach to control this invasive species, rather than fighting a rearguard action when a weed is firmly established in eatern fall areas.

    Coolatai Grass is an invasive, drought and fire tolerant grass which has the ability to rapidly respond to rain, with tussocks surviving hot burns and dominating pastures over a range of soil types.

    These characteristics give the species the ability to quickly flower and set seed when environmental conditions are favourable.

    It is also one of the few summer grasses capable of invading undisturbed natural ecosystems and is a major threat to natural biodiversity.

    Coolatai Grass is naturalized in Australia and was thought to have been first introduced from South Africa to Queensland and northern NSW in the late 1800’s and in the 1950’s for soil stabilization in the Coolatai area.

    It is extremely drought resistant and grows longer into the cooler months than most other summer native grasses.

    It is less digestible and palatable than many native grass species, so the native species are preferentially grazed leaving Coolatai Grass to eventually dominate.

    Coolatai Grass’s limited value for grazing is far outweighed by the fact that it is so invasive and possessive of the areas it infests.

    For help with weed identification and management please contact Biosecurity Officers (Weeds) on 02 6770 3602, call into our office at 2/129 Rusden St Armidale, follow the NEWA facebook page or visit www.newa.com.au 

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