Improving soil and pasture health to reduce weeds

Holding two on farm field days in Byron Shire through the Managing Pest Animals and Weeds (MEPAAW) project

Improving soil and pasture health to reduce weeds

Holding two on farm field days in Byron Shire through the Managing Pest Animals and Weeds (MEPAAW) project

Taking Action -


The issue

The Byron Shire has an increasing number of tree changers who buy rural properties and have no land management experience or knowledge. Many are also only here for part of the year. As a result many rural landholdings are mismanaged, negatively impacting on surrounding properties.

The solution

Brunswick Valley Landcare (BVL) applied to participate in the Landcare NSW Managing Established Pest Animals and Weeds Project facilitated by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and were successful in receiving funding to undertake two invasive species management field days targeting rural landholders - especially those new to the area - and promote the NSW DPI WeedWise program. We approached NSW DPI, Rous County Council, biocontrol and soil health experts to be involved in the educational events. To ensure we reached as many new landholders as possible, we advertised the events in local newspaper The Echo, in targeted social media advertising, in the local rural co-op shop and via BVL’s large email mailing list. The field days were held at two scenic rural properties in the Byron Shire; a biological farm in Hayter’s Hill and a shared lifestyle property in Main Arm - each with varying degrees of weed infestation and management. The two practical, skills-based training days educated a range of local farmers, landholders and community members about best-practice control of paddock and fenceline weeds including Giant Parramatta grass, Groundsel bush, Fireweed, Camphor laurel and Lantana. Expert speakers from Beechworth Biological Solutions, Soilcare and Rous County Council gave presentations and demonstrations on biological control for Giant Parramatta Grass, soil and pasture health and testing, pasture management, landholder biosecurity duties and herbicide application methods, with good attendance at both events.

The impact

Participants from the field days – many with large landholdings - were eager to learn about innovate weed control methods such as the use of the naturally occurring (endemic) fungus Nigrospora oryzae as a biological control agent for weedy Sporobulus grasses, and provided lots of positive feedback about the speakers following both events. The majority of participants said they increased 'their knowledge of' and 'confidence to' undertake invasive species management following the field days. This project has been successful in that we were able to both cater to the interests of the local landholders as well as promote best-practice integrated weed management while promoting the efforts of the two local landholders involved with Brunswick Valley Landcare who agreed to host the field days.

Key facts

  • Two field days to educate landholders about the best practice management of paddock and fenceline weeds
  • 54 landholders attended
  • NSW DPI Weed Control Handbook and weed biosecurity list distributed to all participants
  • Two forms of biological farming practices promoted

Project Partners