The Land Management & Biodiversity team have been lucky enough to have Ben on loan from Councils Conservation Management Team over the Summer. Ben’s a keen botaniser and invasive plant enthusiast with years of on-ground experience in best practice weed management. Here’s some advice from Ben to help you get started planning your weed control over the coming cooler months..
“Now that autumn is finally here after an extended summer, it is time to start thinking about weeds that will begin to show themselves with the changing conditions. We’ve finally had some rain, so a number of weed species will begin germinating and it will be time for weed control before you know it. Weeds that will begin to germinate with the autumn rains include Paterson’s Curse, Capeweed, Spear Thistle, Scotch thistle and Artichoke Thistle which are all listed, amongst others, under the Councils Pest Plant Local Law.
Depending on rainfall, seedlings and rosettes will be visible very soon, if not already. Early control as well as follow up treatment will be critical to stop seed set. Weeds such as Paterson’s Curse can begin to flower sporadically which means that seed set could occur sooner than you think.
Larger woody weeds will begin to become dormant as it gets colder so efforts on weed control are best focused on broadleaf weeds germinating over autumn and winter.
Plan your attack, look at what methods you want use and when. Talk to your neighbours. If they have the same weed issues, work together towards controlling weeds over the fence as well. Remember to treat any new weeds that appear on your property. Isolated plants can quickly become large infestations if not controlled. If you already have been controlling weeds on your property, keep up good work”.
If you need any further information on weed identification and seasonal control options, call 9217-2147.
Spear Thistle Rosette
Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG)
‘Demonstrating Effective Blackberry Control Techniques’
Date: Saturday 6th October- 9.30am – 12.30pm
Location: Eden Park
Morning tea and lunch provided.
Drone spraying demonstration– Advanced UAV
Mulcher demonstration– Indigenous Design Environmental Services
Demonstrating the use of a spray rig– Chris Coburn –W&SBAG project officer
Information on current weed programs
RSVP by the 3rd October. Essential for location and catering purposes.
Contact Barton Roberts 0409 332 258 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Is your property greater than two hectares and zoned for rural land use? If yes, then you are eligible to apply for Council’s Environmental Works Grant Program 2019.
The Environmental Works Grant Program provides a financial incentive for rural landholders to protect and enhance Whittlesea’s biodiversity. Grants of up to $1500 are available for:
- Fencing projects which permanently protect remnant vegetation from livestock
- Fencing and planting around farm dams
- Revegetation projects including shelterbelt establishment
- Environmental weed control within areas of remnant vegetation.
Apply online: Details of the Program’s guidelines and the online application form can be accessed at Council’s website http://www.whittlesea.vic.gov.au (key word search “Environmental Works Grant”)
Contact: Jane Juliff, Landcare Facilitator on 0417 127 841 or email@example.com for more information or to discuss a project idea.
Applications close 30 November 2018.
The City of Whittlesea’s Green Connected Active and Landcare programs are bringing you a two-day, accredited Farm Chemical Users Course. The course is heavily subsidised at just $30 for both days (fully catered), usually costing around $250.
Don’t miss this opportunity to refresh or learn new skills in Integrated Pest Management, including safe and effective herbicide application. Topics covered include:
- Pest plant and animal identification and control methods
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- label interpretation, chemical modes of action
- animal health and welfare
- chemical preparation, storage, transport, disposal and spill clean-up
- Effective application including nozzle selection and calibration of spray equipment
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Legislation, regulations and industry standards
- 1080 endorsement (optional at no extra charge)
For full details and to register, open the course flier HERE
Council’s annual Blackberry Education and Compliance program is now in full swing. Earlier this summer, properties were sent a courtesy letter advising the commencement of the program and the requirement to control this noxious weed. For most land managers, this notice simply serves as a timely reminder to monitor and follow-up areas previously treated. Notices to comply will shortly be sent out to those properties yet to commence control.
This year, many land managers have chosen to sign-up to a voluntary 3-year property management plan offered by our local Whittlesea & Surrounds Blackberry Action Group (W&SBAG) and their project officer on the ground, Chris. You’ll be seeing the farmgate signs going up all over the place no doubt (see photos below). If you haven’t signed up yet and you’re within the target areas of Kinglake West, Humevale and Whittlesea, you can contact Chris by email to schedule a site visit: firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual Gorse program finished up recently and was a huge success. Only 35 properties were sent advisory notices, down from 66 properties in 2016. Of these, just 13 were issued notices to comply. The figures show that more and more property owners are recognising the benefits of integrated Gorse control, particularly from both a farm productivity and asset protection perspective. The image below shows very effective Gorse control on Commercial land in Wollert. While this land owner still has a way to go, it’s an impressive start and shows that the program seeks to engage commercial operators (as well as public land managers) to support the work private landowners are undertaking.
For further information, contact Councils Environment Protection Officer on 9217-2147.
The Upper Goulburn Landcare Network are running a subsidised Farm Chemical Users Course in February. The course runs over two Sundays and includes a 1080 endorsement. For course details see flier below.
This Saturday 25 November: Weed Control Networking Day
Hosted by the cities of Hume and Whittlesea and Mitchell Shire Council, the line-up includes presentations from:
- Victorian Serrated Tussock Working Party
- Victorian Gorse Taskforce
- Dabyminga Blackberry Taskforce
- Tim Bloomfield: Pest Plant and Pest Animal Interactions
- Pat Connor: Weed Seed Spread and Precautions (including a vehicle hygiene demonstration over lunch)
- Whittlesea and Surrounds Blackberry Action Group
- Melbourne Water on Landholder Assistance Programs
The event will be facilitated by Terry Hubbard of the Strath Creek Landcare Group, Upper Goulburn, Victorian and National Landcare Networks and 2017 recipient of the Joan Kirner Landcare Award.
There’ll be a FREE sausage sizzle of gourmet Aroona sausages (100% grass-fed, preservative free beef) cooked by the Wandong Heathcote Junction Community Group.
So don’t miss out! Grab your ticket today using the following link:
Want to gain industry standard training in farm chemical use?
The City of Whittlesea is subsidising the cost for rural residents to update or become accredited farm chemical users. The course and permit usually costs around $250 but is available here, for just $50.
In this two-day course join a network of local rural landowners and learn about:
- Storage and handling
- Pest identification
- Modes of action
- Label interpretation
- Issues associated with chemical use
- Formulation types
- Weed and pest control application
- Animal health
- Transport and disposal
- Preparation and clean up procedures
- Recording procedures
By the completion of this course you will have the required Industry Quality Assurance Programs Training, necessary when applying for the Victorian Agriculture Chemical Users Permit (an ACUP is required for users of Schedule 7 and other Restricted Use Chemical Products).
Places are limited, so make sure to register via Eventbrite today!
Terms & Conditions: This course is only available to City of Whittlesea residents. Attendees may be asked to provide proof of residency upon entry.
Full catering provided
For more information please contact Katherine Whittaker on (03) 9217 2147 or email Katherine.Whittaker@whittlesea.vic.gov.au
Did you know that we now have our very own local Blackberry Action Group? With the support of the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce, this group will help our community achieve similar successes in Blackberry control to those being had by multiple community Blackberry Action Groups across the state.
Our new Blackberry Action Group will soon be busy putting together an action plan for the target areas in Humevale, Kinglake West and around Toorourrong Reservoir. The project facilitator will then engage property owners in those target areas, working to enlist as many volunteers as possible for the program. At the same time, Council will continue to support Blackberry control on private land through the pest plant education and compliance program. The formation of a Blackberry Action Group has also importantly created opportunities for greater advocacy for Blackberry control on public landholdings in those areas.
If you’d like further information or are interested in joining this exciting new community group, contact Councils Environment Protection Officer on 9217-2147.