Beating Back Chilean Needle Grass

Collaboration counts in a local district fighting invasive weeds

Beating Back Chilean Needle Grass

Collaboration counts in a local district fighting invasive weeds

Collaborations -


The issue

Chilean Needle Grass has become a significant threat at the top of the catchment at Black Mountain. While some properties have large infestations, others have small infestations and many have no infestations.

The solution

A group of landholders joined forces to tackle the threat with project funding from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services and support from neighbouring Landcare networks Southern New England Landcare Ltd and GLENRAC Inc. The project aimed to improve the control, containment and community awareness of the threat to the environment, agriculture and the economy. It also aimed to establish an Action Group to monitor, manage and contain Chilean Needle Grass in the target area and prevent further spread. Landholders in the area were onboarded, and events were coordinated to raise awareness, build capacity, and tackle the management issues.

The impact

The project attracted 148 participants to two information events, which were sponsored by six collaborating organisations. The Action Group formed up, and trained in farm biosecurity planning, weed monitoring using mobile apps, and chemical user certification. The project leveraged landholder training to the value of $3575. Some 14 farms totalling 3354 ha participated in the project and as a result of the collaboration, the NSW DPI Invasive Grasses Demonstration Sites Project attracted an additional 7 participating properties demonstrating on-farm best management practice. As a result of the Black Mountain Chilean Needle Grass project, participants are now better equipped to manage ground cover and the threats to the environment and production presented by invasive grasses.


The original project proposal changed throughout the project to meet landholder needs. It also identified gaps and needs that collaborators were not aware of at the start. Members of the group reported an 80% improvement in skills as a result of participating in the project. Project participants also reported more than 100% improved knowledge of management and control strategies and a 60% increase in understanding and confidence of farm biosecurity planning. 90% of survey participants reported implementing changes on farm as a result of being involved in the project. This included monitoring sites; more proactive farm biosecurity practises, such as checking boundary fences, and installing signage. Group members suggested a range of future activities including updates on new threats, a Natural Sequence Farming field day, new technology as it arises, an annual weeds event, and a pub night as a catch up for the group.

Key facts

  • 148 participants in 2 information events
  • 14 farms involved covering 3354 ha
  • If you don't have it, keep it out at all costs!
  • Ensure you have a biosecurity plan, and implement it.
  • If you find a small patch, hit it hard and map it.
  • Monitor, contain and control regularly.
  • 6 collaborators: Elders Guyra, GrazAg Guyra, GrazAg Armidale, New England Weeds Authority, Nutrien Guyra, and University of New England.
  • "A great project. Well managed, and thanks to all!" (participant)

Project Partners