Council needs help from landholders
SOMERSET Regional Council is appealing to residents to help manage fireweed in the region.
Fireweed is a restricted invasive plant that competes with pastures and can be toxic to livestock.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said it is vital that fireweed is identified and removed, or controlled, as soon as possible.
"Fireweed can be identified by their dark green serrated leaves and bright yellow flowers,” Cr Lehmann said.
"The most effective way to eradicate the weed is removing it by hand as the seeds spread by wind and can continue to spread even after being sprayed with herbicide.
"By chipping the plants out, bagging them and then either burning or disposing of them at a council approved landfill landholders can help Council control the invasive species.”
Ingestion of fireweed to animals can cause illness, slow growth, poor conditioning and can result in death.
The weed is classed as a restrictive invasive plant and can produce over 100,000 seeds per plant during growing season.
Fireweed can grow to around 50cm tall with multiple branches, long wide leaves and often have over 100 yellow flowers.
Fireweed can also be controlled through the use of herbicides and biological control methods which are not as effective.
Cr Lehmann said it was imperative that residents wore gloves and other personal protective equipment when treating or removing fireweed.
"It's so important that residents learn to identify weed species on their land and treat them accordingly,” he said.
"Having fireweed on a property impacts an entire region, as well as livestock and native animals and devalues property values.”
Cr Lehmann said council had just added fireweed to its Chemical Subsidy Program to further support landholders in meeting their responsibilities under the Biosecurity Act 2014.
The Chemical Subsidy Program applies to certain invasive plants in Somerset and allows approved landholders to receive a subsidy of one-third of the herbicide cost upon presentation of receipts to council.
For more information about fireweed, how to manage it, or accessing council's Chemical Subsidy Program contact council on (07) 5424 4000.
To access a fact sheet on fireweed and other invasive plants and animals visit: www.daf.qld.gov.au.