Thank You to our Local Community Members for Helping Map & Control this Invasive Weed
The control of Cotton bush is best done during its main growing season of spring and summer. The 2020-21 cotton bush season has been a particularly long one, due to the warm, wet, favourable conditions, which allowed multiple germinations of cotton bush to occur. As we come to the close of the cotton bush control season, the LBG would like to thank everyone who has actively assisted in the control of this invasive weed. Community members have made great contribution to our overall area through both reporting cotton bush infestations either directly to us or via the My Pest Guide Reporter App to the Cotton Bush Survey program, being led by CSIRO and the South West Catchment Council, and actively controlling cotton bush on their properties.
Why Report Sightings of Cotton Bush – What Happens with This Information?
From reported and validated sightings, we can help map the significant distribution of the cotton bush issue in our area. We are also observing any emerging biological predators to Cotton Bush, which may assist with future control programs. Developing an understanding of how to effectively improve cotton bush management is very much dependent upon knowing its distribution in our area.
Weeds Don’t Stop at Fences – Community Collaboration is Key for Effective Control
Over this season, the LBG has assisted landholders with gaining access to cotton bush control equipment, and tailoring weed management plans to individual landholder’s cotton bush concerns. We have also assisted in bridging communication between neighbours to assist with community control. We have found most landholders to be very responsible and eager to control this weed when they become aware of its existence on their property. However, we have also been forced to issue several compliance letters for landholders seen not to be managing cotton bush, as is the requirement under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act (BAM Act). Note: You can find out more about this act by clicking on this link: WA DPIRD _BAM Act Overview
Why is Cotton Bush such a big focus?
Cotton bush, native to South Africa and introduced to Australia as a garden plant, is now a significant agricultural weed for our WA South West region, particularly for farmers with hay or grazing stock. It has toxic sap but is rarely eaten by livestock as it is unpalatable, though it can cause serious problems as a contaminant of hay. If left uncontrolled, it can form dense thickets many hectares in size.