Yaven Creek Travelling Stock Route Closed due to Coolatai Grass Alert
Published on 12 November 2020
Landholders are advised that the Travelling Stock Route on the Snowy Mountains Highway between Yaven Creek and the Hume Highway has been closed due to a Coolatai Grass Alert.
On 12 November 2020, several plants of Coolatai grass (Hyparrhenia hirta), were discovered on the Snowy Mountains Highway between Yaven Creek Road and the Snowy Valleys and Cootamundra/Gundagai Shire Council boundary.
Individual plants were manually removed and a rapid response inspection and prevention control plan will be implemented over the next couple of weeks.
Vehicle travel will not be impeded but the route is closed to stock for the next five months due to the necessary treatment of the plants with the herbicide Fluproponate which has a long residual and withholding period.
Coolatai grass is an invasive drought, fire and herbicide tolerant tussock forming perennial grass. It is a major invasive species and can dominate pastures over a range of soil types and conditions. It is also one of the few perennial grasses capable of invading undisturbed natural ecosystems and is a major threat to natural biodiversity in stock routes, nature reserves and National Parks.
The grass seed is mobile and spreads easily adhering to the hair and wool of animals, clothing and is easily caught on and in vehicles or blown on the wind.
Coolatai grass readily invades pastures and dominates them, particularly where ground cover is low (less than 70%) due to the grazing regime (set stocking) and low soil fertility.
Failure to appropriately manage a Coolatai grass dominated pasture will see a monoculture of tall rank growth of low digestibility (<40%) and protein (<7%). Sheep production will be poor and cattle will need supplementary nitrogen or protein to be able to utilise the feed.
Pasture dominated by Coolatai grass can be productive, although the management requirements are higher and significantly more expensive than those commonly employed
Land holders are encouraged to be vigilant and check your lands, particularly in recent bush fire affected properties.
For more information contact Snowy Valleys Council Ranger Mel Wilkerson,
P: (02) 6941 2547 or E: [email protected]