Living with Lovegrass

Lovegrass mixRedgrass African lovegrass mix.

‘Living with Lovegrass’ a forum designed around learning from each other on how to manage African Lovegrass was held at the Namadgi Visitor Centre on Saturday 22nd May. Around sixty people attended the forum and it was interesting to hear the range of views expressed about lovegrass. Some graziers expressed the view that lovegrass is here, cattle can use it, so perhaps we are better off devoting resources to Serrated Tussock. Others thought that lovegrass is potentially our worst environmental and agricultural weed species. Whatever the view there is no denying African lovegrass is a highly persistent, summer growing, perennial grass weed that is invading rural properties, urban parklands and roadsides and nature reserves across our region.

A working group from the forum has agreed on the following actions for the ACT:

  1. SACTCG has applied to the Community Action Grants to produce a map showing ALG infestation boundaries across southern ACT in 2000, 2010 and projections of a possible ALG scenario in 2020. This project will produce educational materials on the impacts of ALG, best-practice control, run ALG field days & identify priority areas. It will also increase community participation & improve coordination in ALG control and containment. Three ACT catchment groups, NRM Council, Rural Landholders Association & the Concerned Residents of West Kambah (CRoWK) have pledged a total of $9k toward the project if the application is successful;
  2. NRM Council Facilitators to organise a NRM Council tour for interested parties including politicians;
  3. Steve Welch to determine what interest there may be in starting a Roadside Care group as a pilot project;
  4. Steve Taylor from Parks & Conservation has instigated new contract arrangements for roadside herbicide spraying that should ensure better outcomes.

African Love Grass forum information:

Jennifer Firn’s research on fertilising and grazing African love grass at http://freshscience.org.au/?p=1926#more-1926 This article is available for no cost at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01741.x/pdf