Community input is sought by the Department of Agriculture and Food on priority weeds to assist the development of tools for smartphones and online weed surveillance.
The appeal is part of a community-driven, scientific-based agricultural weed surveillance sub-project of the department’s Boosting Biosecurity Defences project, made possible by Royalties for Regions.
Department project manager Tamrika Lanoiselet said the three-year project, titled Agricultural weed surveillance in the South West to protect industry profitability, aimed to improve the surveillance of high priority declared weeds that impact agriculture.
“Survey responses provided by biosecurity groups, agricultural producers and community members will help define community needs and the purpose of future weed surveillance applications,” Dr Lanoiselet said.
“The department will subsequently develop new systems, tools and applications with the aim of increasing community surveillance that helps identify, target and manage declared plants, and map both weed incursions and weed-free areas.
“Increased declared weed surveillance is expected to benefit high-value agricultural areas of the South West through improved market access for premium products grown in the region.”
This is the second round of consultation for the project; the first called on nominations for the selection of the top five declared weeds to be targeted by the project
The declared plant groups chosen by the community are cotton bush, arum lily, Paterson’s curse, Solanum species (silverleaf nightshade and apple of Sodom) and doublegee.
Dr Lanoiselet said consultation with stakeholders was vital to the success of the project.
“I strongly urge anyone with an interest in biosecurity, agricultural sector development or natural resource management to become involved,” she said.
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