On behalf of my fellow committee members, I am pleased to present this report outlining the delivery and outcomes of the 2016/17 Skeleton Weed Program to the contributors of the Grains, Seeds and Hay Industry Funding Scheme.
At 30 June 2017, less than 2500 hectares were known to be infested with skeleton weed. The significant efforts of the program staff, Local Action Groups and landholders are to be commended, with skeleton weed surveillance occurring on more than 410 000 hectares. The 12% reduction in the infested area within the Narembeen shire during the year is particularly encouraging, indicating the real benefit of the program at slowing the spread of skeleton weed.
The progress being made with the research activities is excellent. In particular, it is pleasing to see that the modelling work funded by the scheme, which predicts the spread of skeleton weed seed, is now being successfully applied to better target surveillance activities. Coupled with the research into the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, the industry-funded research is expected to return value for the investment of grower funds. Providing value for the investment of grower funds remains a priority of the Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee.
The scheme continues to attract contributions from more than 99% of WA grain, seed and hay producers. These contributions have enabled a comprehensive program that continues to control the spread of skeleton weed and deliver positive outcomes for the grain, seed and hay industries of Western Australia.
Chairman Grains, Seed and Hay Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee