Integrated weed management is the long term management of a weed using a combination of different management and control techniques.
Weed management techniques include physical/mechanical, chemical, biological, and cultural or social control practices. All of these techniques may be part of an integrated weed management system. It is unlikely that a single control measure on its own will be effective over the long term.
Integrated weed management aims to address the underlying causes of a weed infestation, rather than just focusing on controlling the visible weeds. By targeting the different stages of the weed’s lifecycle and undertaking measures that will prevent weed reproduction, integrated weed management will prevent weed reproduction, reduce weed emergence, promote seed bank depletion and minimise weed competition with desirable vegetation (Trotter 2007).
An integrated weed management plan must be individual, practical, economically sound and flexible. A plan should always allow adaptation from year to year as situations change and new technology becomes available.
When developing a weed management plan, do not treat one weed in isolation – think of the property as a whole system with many parts. When creating a management program, consider the impacts that a control technique will have on the weed, the desirable vegetation and the production system.
An integrated weed management plan has four steps.
A site assessment is essential to know the extent and density of serrated tussock (and other weeds) on your property. Being able to correctly identify serrated tussock from other similar grasses throughout its lifecycle and during different times of the year is essential during this stage.
Mapping is a tool that can help you plan ahead and to communicate your weed control activities and progress with other interested parties.
When mapping serrated tussock infestations record information such as:
Using a property map with this information will allow you to:
Objectives are statements of the intended outcome you want to achieve over a certain time frame and can be measured.
They may have short, medium or long time frames and are designed to work together in an integrated plan.
Objectives can be applied at any scale, from one paddock within a property to a whole farm, region or landscape. Multiple objectives may be required if the situation is complex.
Objectives will set the direction you wish to move in and will help guide your decisions on serrated tussock control strategies and drive your on-ground activities.
Examples of some objectives are:
The complex step is bringing together your objectives, the physical environment and suitable control techniques to develop and implement the action plan.
When developing your action plan it is important to:
Ensure areas for serrated tussock control are prioritised and the most appropriate control techniques are identified for your situation.
Once objectives and a plan of action has been decided:
Monitoring is an essential part of any good management program. During implementation of your program, frequently monitor and review your program.
Points to consider include: Have control works been successful? What follow up action is required? What will be required next year?
Doing this will build a picture of what is happening over time, enabling you to identify new issues to plan for next year and, if necessary, demonstrate progress to your group, funding body or weed authority.