This tufted, perennial grass is native to southern Africa. It was accidentally introduced into Australia as a contaminant of pasture seed. African lovegrass is an aggressive exotic grass with the potential to invade vast areas of both productive farmland and public land. Animal production is reduced because African lovegrass has low palatability, low digestibility and low nutritional value. Once established African lovegrass can reduce the capacity of the land to be productive and is also difficult and costly to control.
Growing up to 1.2m in height, African lovegrass produces thousands of seeds at a time, quickly spreading along roadsides and railway lines, favouring acidic, lightly sandy soils.
In Queensland African lovegrass can be found throughout the Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt regions. Eradication is difficult as infestations quickly develop large viable seedbanks and it is extremely competitive with other pasture species.
African lovegrass Action Group
In November 2009 an African lovegrass (ALG) action group was formed in the North Burnett to provide a platform for collaborative effort in controlling and minimising the impact of ALG on various stakeholders. Objectives of the action group are:
• creation of a management plan
• lobbying for declaration
• sourcing funding and research
• promoting weed hygiene practices.
A major goal of the group was to gain the commitment from all stakeholders including local and state government (inc Main Roads), relevant utilities, landholders and other relevant bodies to help contain ALG.
The African Lovegrass Group successfully finalised a African lovegrass Management/Containment Plan. Since finalising the plan the Action Group has disbanded. The Plan sits under the North Burnett Regional Council area Pest Management Plan. The plan is available for implementation by landholders, community groups, Council and all other relevant groups.
The North Burnett Regional Council together with the Australian Agricultural College has established a demonstration site to validate and display the methods used to control African lovegrass. Although trial work has been carried out in other parts of the world, establishing a demonstration site in our region allows the community to see how ALG can be managed on a Burnett grazing property. The site, located at Narayen (near Mundubbera) is not only showcasing established management practices but also carrying out various trials. The location is ideal, with paddocks already fenced for trials (thanks to CSIRO) and facilities for field days.
Wash Down Locations and Facilities
It is important for all trucks, tractors, and mowers working in areas known to be infested with African lovegrass to wash down appropriately. Click here for information on wash down facilities and their locations throughout the North Burnett.