Skeleton weed Management guide - Program and protocols

Page last updated: Tuesday, 13 November 2018 - 12:53pm

Search protocols

Full Search

Applicable to all Code 1 paddocks and Code 3 paddocks due for release from the infested list.

Full search coverage requirements varies depending on the number of people, vehicles and area to be surveilled
Full search logistics
  • Keep stubble to a maximum height of 45cm to enhance searching and limit the fire risks (particularly in heavy stubble or frosted paddocks).
  • Searching while harvesting or spraying is not a Full Search.
  • Paddocks should be livestock-free at least four weeks before searching. 
  • Allow 5–10 days before searching harvested paddocks; this will allow skeleton weed plants to grow above the stubble. Search paddocks as early as possible after this period and ideally in early to mid December – before plants begin flowering.
  • Always be prepared to find skeleton weed. Ensure all vehicles used for searching are fully equipped with flagging tape, star pickets and a post driver or drums to mark finds.
  • Take a farm/paddock map and pen with you to accurately mark finds as they are found. Search speed should range from 10 to 20 km/h, depending on stubble density or pasture density.
  • Use only elevated cab, diesel-powered vehicles to reduce fire risk.
  • DPIRD recommends a minimum of a 400L firefighting unit to be present whilst searching.

Surveillance Search

For Code 2 paddocks and paddocks adjacent to:

  • Code 1 paddocks from last year
  • New find paddocks.

Full search coverage requirements vary according to area to be surveilled

If plants are found:

  • Stop and search the immediate area on foot.
  • Clearly mark all the infested area with flagging tape, drums, spears or steel posts around each plant; or clumps of plants – (refer to section 1 on Marking search squares).
  • Clearly mark the infestation on the paddock map.

 

Marking search squares

Dimensions of searching areas depend on the number of plants found on the paddock
Dimensions of searching areas depend on the number of plants found on the paddock

 

Marking a single plant find square on a paddock
Marking a single plant find square on a paddock

Single plant find

  • Mark the plant(s) using flagging tape, a star picket or a drum.
  • Search thoroughly to ensure there are no other plants, and step out a 20m buffer in all directions as shown. Where adjoining squares with single plants are within 50m of each other, combine the squares into one large square (while keeping a 20m distance between each individual plant and the edge of the square).
  • Place star pickets or drums in each corner of the square.
  • Mark the find on a farm map and submit with a Record Sheet from your Infested property paddock record to your local DPIRD or LAG office by 15 February.

Multiple plant find

  • Where the site contains multiple plants, search thoroughly to locate the extremity of the infestation and mark using flagging tape, star pickets or drums. Step out a 20m buffer from the outermost plants, as shown below.
  • Place star pickets or drums in each corner of the square.
  • Mark the find(s) on a farm map and submit a Record Sheet from your Infested property paddock record to your local DPIRD or LAG office by 15 February.

All marked squares will be GPS mapped by the Searching contractor or the local DPIRD/LAG officer.
Landholders will be provided with detailed maps showing infested squares and paddocks after the summer search
.