Poisonous Weeds on the Farm

Managing Animal Health in Drought Conditions

Poisonous Weeds on the Farm

Managing Animal Health in Drought Conditions

Taking Action -


The issue

The Manning Great Lakes Catchments are in the grip of a very extended dry. For many landowners in this usually high, reliable rainfall landscape this is a massive change. 

Landcare co-ordinators identified issues with landholders grazing animals in areas not normally grazed such as riparian strips, gardens and brushy country. 

Stock are being drawn to graze on any green pick or normally unpalatable plants. Local Land Services and Landcare co-ordinators are aware of an increase in the number of stock loses due to poisonings.  

Many landholders are also buying fodder and trucking it long distances.  This brought in feed has, in some cases, contained contaminants.  There is a need for landholders to be educated in supplementry feeding, setting up quarrantine paddocks and identifying possible treats in feed.

The solution

Karuah Great Lakes Landcare & Manning Landcare approached the weeds officer team at Midcoast Council to provide presentations to educate landholders on common poisonous plants.

We widely publicised information on the issue & the information sessions.  Three workshops were held across the catchments.  One to the most northerly area of Hunter Local Land Services area at Johns River, at Nabiac and in Wingham. 

The sessions were advertised widely on social media, on the local radio stations, by sending out over 2000 rural mail box flyers and in Landcare newsletters.

The impact

In times of drought it is more difficult to have people attend, however we had 55 participants.

The weeds officers had a power point presentation packed with local information.  We demonstrated downloading, installing and using the Weedwise app.

One landholder brought in a sample from a load of hay he had recently purchased from out of the area.  It was found to be heavily contaminated with Datura. 

Landholders really enjoyed the session, they could relate to the local content, there was plenty of opportunities for them to ask questions , show plant samples and relay their experiences.

Key facts

  • Weedwise - a valuable tool
  • Collaboration between agencies magnifies benefits.
  • In a crisis it is important to plan