Parramatta in Dayboro.
I have no idea if I do the right thing, but it looks like I have a bit of rats tail and paramatta grass in my paddock… so now what….?
How to find it?
It is big enough to cause for concern, parramatta grass. It is in patches, but it seems that it starts to follow the contours of the water run off…. Time to take action.
I actually have no idea what and how it looks like so I done some research on the net (yup Dr Google). I quickly found the site Weeds in Brisbane and my stuff looks a lot like that. It has small patches, the seed pods are long and thin… fair bet that it is parramatta.
See the picture above, I took this picture on the council strip, that is how it looks like, not my best photo but it gives you an idea, Weeds in Brisbane website has a better image. I grazed the paddocks pretty hard last year, I think most of us did, due to the dry weather etc. With the bit of rain we had the Parramatta Grass stands out like “balls on a bull” so to speak. I have a bull, and I can assure you… they stand out :-).
Like mentioned before, the Parramatta Grass stands very high, and is thin, if you lucky enough to have a paddock that carries Rhodes then you can see it competing with the Rhodes height. What I have in the paddock is most likely the Dwarf variety of the Parramatta Grass. Still the same thing… and I want to get rid of it. It is a very competitive weed (from what I gather) and will compete other grasses out, not only that it is rubbish for cattle feed in my opinion, it is also very clumpy so hard to mow. Either way it is part of the WSG (weedy sporobolus grasses) family, so time to get rid of it.
How big is my problem?
Apart from other problems, this one is pretty big in my view, as you can see in the image below it seems to be available in abundance.
It’s like when you buy a new car, first you do not see any on the road, once you got your new car, every second car is like yours. Same applies here, once I started looking for it it showed up EVERYWHERE. Just crazy…. it almost looked like the whole paddock was full with it… Time to take action.
It’s my problem, so I darn well fix it.
I do not like to give my problems to others, especially the neighbors. (Ok, in this case it is tempting :-)), first I needed to know where this stuff comes from. Time to sniff it out, it was not here a few yrs ago when I had better control over the surrounding areas and my paddock. I let that slip a bit.
I walked around the perimeter and quickly found some spots where it could come from, I think it originally came from the road side. My reasoning is that the council slasher contractor might have carried some seeds into the estate, when servicing the council strips. In general that be no problem as the Rhodes would suppress it easy, however a reasonable dry period in combination with irresponsible slashing might have given this the upper hand. A little while back I pointed out the damaging practices of council contractors slashing the council strip. Turning the strip into a mud and dirt patch, all good grass covering was completely stripped, only weeds grow now.
But I am also to blame, for sure, I should have been onto this sooner, I let my cattle and dogs disperse the seeds across the paddock. If you look at where the patches occur it is in the wind shadow side, when we have dry westerly winds it might blow it further into the paddocks.
Like I said… it is my problem now… so I darn well fix it.
Plan of eradication.
A little while back I put run-off barriers in the paddock, I did this by ripping the soil this to catch more water and to drought proof my “farm”. This now has a second function, prevent seed run-off. If you read up on how to manage or eradicate the rats tail or parramatta grass, it talks about collecting the seeds. Yesterday, in my ultimate wisdom I went into the paddock to cut all the seed pods… after half a wheel barrow full you sort of get fed up with it… Trust me it will happen very quickly.
So time to get smarter about it, early this morning I checked for dew and moisture on the paddock. I figured time to use my flail mower and tractor to meander into the meadows to hit the tops of the parramatta weeds, this to prevent spreading by wind etc. Once the seed is on the ground there is less chance for it to blow away.
All mowed, and you can see clearly the contours… so run-off might be an issue.
Time to hatch a plan…..
- Mechanical seedpod collection, well that is an issue. The best I can do is knocking it down, so I took my flail mower and knocked the heads out of the grass. This prevents seed from spreading in the wind, I made sure that the grass was damp so any seeds would most likely drop on the ground.
- Apply Flupropanate, this stuff is also kills the re-emerging plants from seeds in the ground… now I knocked the heads off. I will expect a lot of that and will have to top up with Flupropanate.
- Ill have to keep applying Flupropanate to keep on-top of this, it is true what they say… “One year seed, seven years weed). There is something else in the works called Nigrospora Oryzae, which remains in the soil forever… but I am not sure if it is readely available.
Now for the record, I am anti-chemicals when it comes to farming, unfortunately in this case I do not have a choice. It is my own fault, I should have taken action sooner, for now I think the use of chemical will outweigh my personal anti-chemical position. I need to stop the spreading of this weed.
I expect that Flupropanate to stay in the soil for about 2yrs, this should kill the cycle…. time will tell. I will try to keep you updated.
Why GR and not taskforce.
No other reason than the way I apply it, I prefer the granular I believe it allows me for more controlled application, but the stuff ain’t cheap. Being ready to use saves me from mixing it, I am not sure about the shelf life of mixed Flupropanate I expect it will be limited. Using the GP version has another advantage, I can take it with me when I walk through the meadows or when I cruise on my tractor. Just a sprinkle here and there, so much easier than having to mix a batch. (Yes I am lazy by nature….).
This is the stuff I got, GP Flupropanate read here how it works. Be prepared to pay $60 odd dollars for less than a kilo.
I am not a birds and a bees man, all I know about trees is that there are three types. Is-a-tree, lavatoree and was-a-tree. In respect to grass there are two types…. brown and green. That sort of sums up my knowledge about this stuff.
Use this write up as you see fit, it is at your own risk. I am under the impression that this “weed” is found all the way from the gold coast through to the sunshine coast.