Invasive Grass Workshop in the APY Lands

The following article on the work of our weeds botanist appeared this week in Palya, the electronic newsletter of Natural Resources Alinytjara Wilurara (AW NRM)…

Contracted by AW NRM, land management experts from Rural Solutions SA delivered an Invasive Grass Workshop in the APY Lands late last year.

The group travelled in convoy from Ernabella to the Warru Pintji (fenced enclosure for black-footed rock wallabies). APY Land Management (APY LM) helped to organise and transport participants out to the site, and also assisted with workshop delivery.

Warru Ranger Magda Zabek talked to the group about the warru program and how her teams manage Buffel grass control inside the fence. The rangers spend around two weeks a year spraying Buffel grass using a mix of chemicals sprayed from back packs.

Chris Brodie (SA herbarium) explaining how to press grass species. Photo: Palya, AW NRM.

Traditional Owner, Donald Fraser explained how Buffel had spread rapidly since the 1970’s. He suggested that the donkeys that roam around the Pintji might be used to graze Buffel grass down.

Chris Brodie (State Herbarium) demonstrated how to collect and press samples for identification and showed the group different grass species that grow/could grow in the APY Lands. The group then discussed any weeds that participants had or hadn’t seen on their country.

James Kidman (APY LM) demonstrated how to most effectively dig up Buffel plants to minimize the spread of seeds. Each plant can contain thousands of seeds. Participants collected wood and burnt the plants they had removed. James emphasised that it was important to have the fire really hot in order to kill the plant and destroy the seeds.

The workshop was funded through the Federal Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.