Landowners are struggling with an explosion of Giant Rat's Tail grass after widespread, significant rainfall in recent months, coinciding with a shortage in herbicides caused by international shipping issues.
One area suffering from the spread of the invasive plant is the Lockyer Valley, with some parts of the region receiving close to 500mm of rain since the beginning of November.
Coominya pasture management and weed control specialist Kylie Grant said she had seen an outbreak of Giant Rat's Tail in the Lockyer Valley and has been in high demand for spraying services.
"It seems to have exploded and it's quite substantial through the southern end of the Lockyer Valley," she said.
"I'm a small acreage spray contractor, so I've been getting quite a few calls because there's too much Rats Tail and not enough time for land holders to control it or get in and spray it themselves.
"After so many years of drought and then a bit of rain, I've had clients who are very upset because they've never had such an issue before and then all of a sudden it's too much for them to get on top of, so they call me.
"It's super competitive and it's also not palatable to stock so it'll overrun your pasture pretty quickly. The majority of jobs that I've been doing are for landowners that have cattle or horses."
Ms Grant and her husband work with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council on their pest management program, which assists landowners in dealing with invasive weeds such as GRT.
"The council have a program where they subsidise 50 per cent of the cost of herbicides and they take it off the landholders rates to encourage control. That's for all of the invasive weeds, so Rats Tail, Mother of Millions and some other ones.
"It's a priority in the Valley for the council as well as landholders and contractors like myself."
A spokesperson with the Lockyer Valley Regional Council said this summer has been the perfect breeding ground for GRT, which has been further exacerbated by a shortage in the specific herbicides used to kill the weed.
"Due to environmental conditions experienced throughout the summer in the Lockyer Valley, including above average rainfall, high humidity and steady temperatures, Giant Rat's Tail Grass (GRT) has been more prevalent around the region," they said.
"These are ideal conditions for GRT to thrive and as the plant's health reaches its peak, it is lusher and more noticeable.
"These conditions have also encouraged native Sporobolus species to thrive and are often mistaken as the invasive species.
"In addition, there has been a shortage of specified herbicides regularly used to treat GRT due to overseas manufacturing and shipping constraints, which has made it difficult to assist landholders who are currently conducting regular treatment programs on their property."
The council is currently in the process of expanding their biosecurity plan to make both animal and plant pest management simpler for landowners in the region.
"Lockyer Valley Regional Council regularly attends properties to conduct weed and pest animal surveys and offers advice on identification and treatment practices.
"Officers work closely with property owners and occupiers to process Pest Management Plans and focus directly on promoting positive outcomes.
"Council provides support mechanisms to assist customers with their General Biosecurity Obligation (GBO). These mechanisms include offering financial support through subsidised control programs and hiring herbicide spray equipment, such as 600 litre dual reel spray trailers and 200 litre skid units.
"Council is currently conducting a surveillance program in the Lockyer Valley to identify the absence or presence of restricted invasive plants and animals and gather data to develop future control measures and programs related to targeted species within Council's Biosecurity Plan."
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