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If possible avoid working in an area infested with Chilean needle grass until it has been controlled. Seed spread is facilitated by the long, twisting awn and the sharply pointed seed head which together allow the seed to penetrate and 'burrow' into animal coats, fleece and clothing. Image credit: Kate Blood Chilean needlegrass is an unpalatable invasive grass, which severely reduces pasture productivity and invades native grassland. Preventing the invasion of Chilean needle grass is the cheapest and most effective means of control. Chilean needle grass grows well in dry, hard, hill country areas with light soil, heavily grazed pasture and bare ground where there's less competition from desirable pasture plants. Chilean needlegrass (Nassella neesiana) is one of the Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia, and is regarded as an environmental weed in Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales, the ACT, Tasmania and South Australia. Learn to identify Chilean needle grass, regularly check for it and act immediately to remove it. The corona of the Texas needle grass contains long fine hairs, compared to that of Chilean needle grass in which the hairs are absent. The leaves are 1 to 5 mm wide, flat and strongly ribbed on their upper surface, with leaf edges that are rough to touch. Chilean Needle Grass is named for its sharp, pointed seeds. This plant has an extremely large potential distribution across native ecosystems and grazing areas in Australia. A Chilean needle grass adult plant is unpalatable to stock during the flowering period. To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website. 16/07/2019 2:31 PM, Image: chilean needle grass seed panicle. It contaminates feed and wool, and reduces productive pasture grasses. Chilean needle grass is a declared noxious weed and is classed as a restricted weed in all Victorian catchments. The seeds of Chilean needle grass are pale brown when mature, warty in texture, and hairless except along the midrib and near the callus (the base of the seed). One of Australia's worst weeds, it is a major pest in Victoria and New South Wales and is also found in South Australia and Tasmania. The seeds consist of a hard, sharply pointed seed head which is barbed with backward-facing hairs and a long, twisted, corkscrew-like awn. The flowering seed heads are a distinctive purplish colour and the seeds are very sharp at the point. It is very invasive and forms dense stands in pastures, bushland and roadsides. Up to 15,000 seeds per square meter can be found in the seed bank beneath infestations. Chilean needle grass seeds are approximately 7 – 9 cm in length and light brown with a distinctive spear-like appearance. Agricultural Workforce Resilience Package, Identifying, Selling & Moving Livestock/NLIS, COVID-19 Help for Agricultural Businesses, Traveller's Guide to Tasmanian Biosecurity - What You Can and Can't Bring into Tasmania, Development Planning & Conservation Assessment, Land Information System Tasmania (theLIST), Spatial Discovery - Educational Resources for Schools, Water licence and dam permit applications, Managing Wildlife Browsing & Grazing Losses, Water Information System of Tasmania (WIST), Chilean Needle Grass - Herbicides for Control, Alligator Weed - Alternanthera philoxeroides, Common heliotrope - Heliotropium europaeum, Managing Wildlife Grazing and Browsing Losses, Herbicides for Chilean Needle Grass Control, Statutory Management Plan for Chilean Needle Grass, Weed and Disease Planning and Hygiene Guidelines, Herbicides for Chilean Needle Grass Control. The presence of Chilean needle grass may reduce land value. It can also cause seed contamination in sheep and lambs, which decreases meat yield and can cause animal health and welfare issues. They are mostly 8 to 10mm long, with a 1mm long corona and a 60 to 90mm long awn which is twice bent, with 15 to 30mm to the first bend. Appropriately dispose of any panicle seed collected. It is threatening endangered native grasslands as well as productive pastures throughout significant regions of south-eastern Australia. At the junction of the seed and the awn (tail of the seed) there is a raised crown (corona), a ridge of small teeth encircling the awn. Chilean needle grass is a tufted (a bunch or collection of grass growing together at the base) plant growing up to 1m. Summary. The illustration below compares Australian speargrass (Austrostipa spp. ) The following information is for the control of small populations of Chilean needle grass in urban environments including roadside reserves and native grassland situations. It is of little nutritional value and in areas where an infestation exists tends to be a monoculture. It looks similar to many other grasses, both native and introduced, and can readily blend into the landscape. Chilean Needle Grass, sometimes mistaken for native spear grass, is a perennial tussock-forming grass and is one of 32 declared Weeds of National Significance (WoNS) in Australia. Chilean needle grass is capable of producing seed by three means: 1. Spread is by seed. A Weed of National Significance in Australia, Chilean needle grass is a vigorous competitor in agricultural, natural and urban environments. Long term control aims to stop the needle grass from seeding, and to reduce the soil seed bank. It can reduce pasture productivity, contaminate crops and hay, and seeds can injure livestock, in particular sheep. It is also a declared weed of National Significance. The seeds of native Australian speargrasses (Austrostipa sp.) Keep up to date with advice and info on how to protect your property from the spread of CNG. Chilean needle grass is a declared noxious weed and is classed as a restricted weed in all Victorian catchments. Chilean needle grass is becoming a serious pasture and environmental weed in south-eastern Australia. It is also a declared weed of National Significance. Regularly monitor known Chilean needle grass infested areas. Chilean needle grass seeds can persist in the soil for many years even if further seed input is prevented. To the extent permitted by law, the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (including its employees and consultants) excludes all liability to any person for any consequences, including but not limited to all losses, damages, costs, expenses and any other compensation, arising directly or indirectly from using information or material (in part or in whole) contained on this website. These seeds remain viable for many years. Chilean needle grass is often found in the same areas as serrated tussock. August 2012 - Scoop NZ. These seeds enable the plant to reproduce despite grazing, slashing and fire. Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) is an erect, tufted perennial grass of temperate South American origin which is considered an invasive pest plant in both Australia and New Zealand. The seed is enclosed by 2 bracts (glumes) which are 16 to 25mm long, purplish in colour and taper to a point (Figure 5). Chilean needle grass is a declared noxious weed throughout Victoria. TASKFORCE® in the press. Chilean needle grass panicle seed is large and heavy and will not travel very far in the wind, maybe only a few metres. Chilean Needle Grass is a WoNS because of its ability to spread … Chilean Needle Grass. Chilean needle grass grows well in dry, hard, hill country areas with light soil, heavily grazed pasture and bare ground where there’s less competition from desirable pasture plants. appear similar except they don't have the corona (Figure 6). Its flowers have a purple tinge and ripen into hard, sharp seeds with long twisting tails. The seeds are spread by farm machinery, clothing or livestock, by road-side mowing and earthmoving equipment, and by floodwaters. Probably introduced in the 1930s and 1940s from South America where it occurs in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Uruguay, southern Brazil and Chile. Chilean needle grass is an extremely invasive grassy weed. Chilean needle grass panicle seed can be dispersed by water along creeks and drainage channels. Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) is a perennial tussock-forming grass, native to South America. Chilean needle grass (Figure 3) is a tussocky perennial in the speargrass group of grasses growing to about 1m high. Preventing the invasion of Chilean needle grass is the cheapest and most effective means of control. In addition to the normal flower (panicle) seeds, Chilean needle grass produces hidden seeds which are formed in the nodes and bases of the flowering stems. The flowering head is a loose, sometimes interrupted panicle to 40cm long (Figure 4). Native to Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil, Chilean needle grass is a perennial tussock grass. If you locate Chilean needle grass anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think could be Chilean needle grass, immediately contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777. Chilean needle grass is a master of disguise. Chilean needle grass More topics in this section This Weed Risk Management Assessment uses a series of questions to arrive at scores for weed risk and feasibility of coordinated control for this weed, and displays the necessary management actions derived from these scores. For identification and advice on the control of populations in pasture situations or larger infestations contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777. Figure 4. Generally unpalatable to livestock and therefore reduces available grazing area. The potential distribution of Chilean needle grass in Australia is estimated to exceed 40 million hectares. Ensure that the base of the plant and as much of the root as possible is removed. 697 likes. The sharp-pointed seeds readily become attached to the coats of animals, clothing and machinery. The sharp seeds cause damage to the skin, fleece and eyes of stock. The CNG is dead and the other improved grasses are recovering and growing through the CNG. During the warmer months large amounts of unpalatable flower stalks are produced, with very little leaf material, resulting in a severe reduction of summer stock carrying capacity. Encourage the growth of competition in infested areas. 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