26 April 2006
Latest Graham Centre project declares war on intractable summer weeds
Research is about to begin on two perennial noxious weeds, Silver Leaf Nightshade (SLN: Solanum elaegnifolium) and Prairie Ground Cherry (PGC: Physalis viscose and P. virginiana) . A team of Graham Centre researchers with diverse skills and extensive experience in weed management have received over three years of funding from Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) to identify and communicate the most efficient means of controlling and managing these weeds.
SLN and PGC are weeds that occur in cropping and pasture zones. Both are deep-rooted, summer-growing perennials with the ability to regenerate from pieces of root and both have proven extremely difficult to eradicate once they are established.
Photo: Dr Hanwen Wu (left) and Professor Deirdre Lemerle (right) with Eucalypt leaves. There is great interest in the natural ability of Eucalypts to control Silver Leaf Nightshade. Photo: Maree Crowley.
The project is lead by Graham Centre Director, Professor Deirdre Lemerle and Industry & Investment NSW research scientist, Dr Hanwen Wu. Under their direction, the team will investigate four means of control and management of SLN and PGC: competitive pasture options, the potential of pathogens as biocontrol agents, best-practice application of herbicides and the effectiveness of allelochemicals.
Professor Lemerle explained that the multi-faceted approach of the project is necessary to enhance traditional attempts to control SLN and PGC with herbicides. What is needed is a program that delivers stable, long-term weed control in a cost-efficient manner and that gives land managers confidence in their ability to eradicate seemingly intractable weeds.
For more information on the project contact Dr Hanwen Wu on 02 6938 1602.