Targeting Serrated Tussock – the time is now

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Serrated tussock, commonly found across the Geelong region, is a Weed of National Significance. It is regarded as one of Australia’s worst weeds because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.

Serrated tussock is a threat to agriculture in the greater Geelong region and landowners are reminded of their responsibility to reduce serrated tussock on their properties now.

Spring is a critical time for controlling serrated tussock with mature plants producing seed heads that travel long distances on the wind. One large plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds per year.

Our contractors are currently spraying serrated tussock on rural roadsides and land we manage across the municipality.

The Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party, Geelong Landcare Network and Agriculture Victoria are working with us to inform landowners to take action against serrated tussock and prevent its spread to neighbouring areas.

Heath Chasemore - Acting Director City Services

Serrated tussock is a very invasive and destructive plant, it can’t be digested by livestock - such as sheep, horses, cows and goats - which leads to a loss of condition for these animals and sometimes even death.

Heavy infestations of serrated tussock additionally lead to loss of pasture and native grasses and significantly increase fire risk.

We have a responsibility to manage serrated tussock on our land not only for the environment, but also for our farming economy. Tussock is a terrible pest and we must work together to control it as one of our highest priorities.

John Burgess - Chairman of the Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party (VSTWP)

Controlling serrated tussock before it becomes established is a high priority for any landowner. Once dense infestations become established this invasive grass cost large sums of money to control.

Landowners need to plan serrated tussock management before it takes over, discussing control options with neighbours and seeking advice when needed.

If you are unsure on how to identify or control serrated tussock, be sure to contact the VSTWP through our website or social media. Further information on how to successfully manage this invasive weed can be found on our website, Facebook and YouTube.

Craig Clutterbuck - Leading Biosecurity Officer, Agriculture Victoria

Serrated tussock will begin to flower from October onward, with seed developing from 8 to 10 weeks later.

Landowners are encouraged to prioritise efforts to control serrated tussock now, including revisiting treated areas to ensure all plants have been effectively controlled.

An integrated approach to serrated tussock control is most effective in achieving long term control, utilising a number of techniques which may include application of a registered herbicide, manual removal and pasture improvement.

Managing pathways of spread is also a critical measure to prevent further serrated tussock establishment. This includes maintaining vehicle and equipment hygiene and using trusted sources of hay, fodder and seed.

For further information about serrated tussock you can visit the Agriculture Victoria website or call 136 186.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 2 October 2019