First weeds to appear: Serrated Tussock

Bare and disturbed ground makes a happy home for this weed of national significance

First weeds to appear: Serrated Tussock

Bare and disturbed ground makes a happy home for this weed of national significance

Taking Action -


The issue

Serrated Tussock has the potential to have significant impacts on farm production and economics. It has been deemed “the worst perennial grass weed in Australia” by the MLA and AWI due to is persistent ability to outcompete more desirable species. Not only is it not palatable for livestock, it has very little feed value. So, if it is the only thing left for stock to eat they will perish. Once established, Serrated Tussock can reduce pasture production by up to 95%. The perennial tussock has no preference for land type or companion plants, it does however prefer disturbed and bare soil to take up residence.

The solution

Given the ongoing and unprecedented dry conditions in the GLENRAC area, it has been noted that environmental conditions are becoming more favorable for the establishment of Serrated Tussock. Reminding landholders to keep an eye out for this particular weed when it does rain, was the purpose of this event, to ensure control is maintained early on. The ‘Smoko with Friends’ event at Deepwater was held on the 8th of August 2019. Guest speakers Josh Biddle and Trent McIntyre from the New England Weeds Authority presented on the impacts and obligations surrounding Serrated Tussock. GLENRAC also published two glove-box identification guides for producers to take home and have handy when driving around checking pastures and paddocks. The postcard and tri-fold flyers also outline tips on prevention and best control measures.

The impact

Attendees shared with the room their experiences with Serrated Tussock on their property; including control measures they found had been successful, monitoring strategies and areas they found it was more prevalent. As there isn’t a lot of groundcover around presently, the NEWA representatives reminded attendees what Serrated Tussock looked and felt like by showing around a specimen. They also discussed the best control methods and encouraged landholders to get in touch if they had any questions or suspect looking plants popping up. Attendees learned a great deal at the event, with 100% claiming they had a lot of knowledge after the presentation; as opposed to the 27% who had a lot of knowledge before the event. Similarly, the confidence to control the invasive weed grew, from 27% to 82% with a lot of confidence.

Key facts

  • Thin & bare patches of pasture are at most risk of invasion
  • Very important to replace with more desirable seed species
  • Cropping with weed control in spring & autumn reduces weed seed bank
  • 500 ‘ID On The Go’ Postcards and 500 Identification & Control tri-fold flyers printed

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