Council calls landowners to join war on ragwort


Well into its $250,000 annual weed control program, Corangamite Shire Council is calling on landowners to help control ragwort.

A contractor has been treating Ragwort in December and January on 346 km of Council-managed roadsides and Council land in the South of the Shire and is due to undertake the second round of control in the coming weeks.

Council’s work complements weed control undertaken by landowners to control weeds across the region.

Mayor Kate Makin said the weed is poisonous to grazing animals, both when fresh and dried in fodder.

“It causes liver damage and can kill cattle, horses, pigs and chickens,” Cr Makin said.

“Dairy cattle forced to graze ragwort produce tainted milk which makes it a major threat to the most important industry in our Shire.

“Council is encouraging landowners to take care of any outbreaks on their properties that might spill over onto neighbouring land or roadways.

“As they say, one year of seeding means seven years of weeding.

“Weeds outcompete native vegetation and cause problems for our agricultural industries. Everyone playing their part will make a huge difference.”

In Corangamite Shire, ragwort is most prolific south of Cobden and around Timboon.

It is most notable during spring and summer when it has bright yellow daisy-like flowers. Seeds are spread by wind, water, animals, farm implements, produce including hay, on clothing and other equipment.

Ragwort’s dense foliage close to the ground prevents regeneration of other vegetation.

It outcompetes more desirable plants, reducing pasture productivity and the value of agricultural land. It also displaces native vegetation on our roadsides and reserves.

Recommended measures include applying a registered herbicide, cultivation and physical removal. Seeds can remain in the ground for well over seven years, so annual follow-up control is required.

Landowners with ragwort on their property are encouraged to seek advice from their local chemical/farm supplier on methods and herbicides fit for their purpose and region.

Agriculture Victoria provides information on weeds and weed control here.

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