Nationals Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall has announced a $24.2 million funding boost, which will see cutting-edge technologies, including environmental DNA (eDNA) testing, used by farmers to manage the state’s worst weeds.
Mr Marshall said the investment would modernise the state’s biosecurity systems.
“We are putting smart technologies in place which will tackle weeds brought on post-drought, bushfires, and floods,” Mr Marshall said.
“Heading into spring, conditions present a high risk of new weeds and the increased growth of established weeds, so this $24.2 million boost comes at a crucial time.
“We will use detector dogs, eDNA testing to trace water weeds, and Climatch modelling which predicts areas most at risk to priority invasive species to tackle the weeds which cost $1.8 billion each year in control measures and lost production.
“The successful NSW Weeds Action Program has been funded to support 11 regional sub-programs and target weeds by focusing on coordinated planning across the state, new incursion responses and biological control.”
Between 2015 and 2020, a $166 million investment helped the NSW Government, councils, communities, farmers, and other land managers successfully target weeds.
“High risk weeds such as parthenium and tropical soda apple continue to put pressure on agriculture, with established weeds such as African lovegrass and serrated tussock being targeted through our weed management programs,” Mr Marshall said.
“We will increase awareness, management and surveillance, largely through face-to-face support from local councils who provide farmers and other land managers with expert advice, weed identification and management options during property visits.”
The new priority projects and NSW Weeds Action Program are key initiatives for the NSW Nationals in the state government’s Invasive Species Plan, which aims to reduce the devastating impacts of weeds on agricultural production and the environment.
More information is available on the NSW Department Primary Industries website https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/biosecurity/weeds/strategy.
Weed management advice is available from weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au or by downloading the NSW WeedWise app.