Investing in new ideas for positive change
Farmers across NSW have been battling with challenging weather conditions in recent years, including fires and drought, and most recently floods. As the battle pursues with maintaining a productive environment to successfully farm produce, an invasive weed such as Sticky Nightshade is an added stress and drain on already stretched resources.
The region's biodiversity is also at risk as this weed spreads. Over the last ten years, the district of Orange in rural New South Wales’s (NSW) Central Tablelands region in Australia, has been heavily impacted by the weed’s continual spread.
To help farmers and the general community battle against this encroaching weed, Newcrest Sustainability Fund has partnered with local services to support research into new management methods.
As a weed like this takes hold, it disrupts not only agricultural practices but also the local ecosystem's health. The Sticky Nightshade was recently listed as a weed species of concern in the Central Tablelands region. Due to this, accelerated efforts to limit further spread from areas with a dense infestation are a high priority.
A collaboration between the NSW Government’s Local Land Services, the Department of Primary Industries, the Newcrest Sustainability Fund and the local community has been established to push forward research and action.
Research into the biology and ecology of the weed is the primary action in the collaboration’s objectives. As new knowledge is unearthed, the focus will shift to creating new approaches in weed management to tackle the weed.
The project will also direct attention to how new technologies could be of benefit – elements like using drones to apply herbicides which are expected to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
We need to act now to protect the biodiversity of the beautiful and fertile lands of the region by reducing this weed’s spread. We hope the collaboration will reinstate productive farming and grazing land for the community now and long into the future.