Surveillance for skeleton weed
Skeleton weed control requires effective monitoring and surveillance.
The effectiveness of skeleton weed control treatments depends on:
- correctly identifying the location of skeleton weed in the paddock
- correctly identifying the growth stage of skeleton weed.
DPIRD has been carrying out targeted surveillance since 2002 with the objective to find infestations in areas considered a high risk of having skeleton weed. This program also raises awareness of the presence of skeleton weed on high risk properties.
Since 2008 DPIRD has increased its surveillance effort to include areas outside of the known infested areas, in an attempt to properly delimit the true extent of skeleton weed infestations across the Western Australian cereal growing districts. The main focus of surveillance is in areas of likely spread, for example shires on the western and southern edges of the current infestation areas.
The surveillance program involves checking a minimum of three paddocks (preferably containing crop stubbles) on each selected property, such that around 300 hectares is searched per property.
The Skeleton Weed Program is also using a “spread modelling” computer program developed to identify properties with a higher risk of having skeleton weed – thus enhancing surveillance searching.
Surveillance helps landholders locate skeleton weed that they may not be aware is present on their property