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Steamy, aerial attacks on ragwort

THE South Gippsland Landcare Network held a ragwort control field day in Fish Creek last Thursday, which demonstrated alternative methods to combat the noxious weed.
The field day was held as part of the network’s innovative solutions to controlling agricultural weeds project.
Network coordinator Jill Vella said more than 50 participants attended to see the Yamaha R-Max demonstration and Weedsteamers’ steam weeder in action.
“Field day participants also looked at our ragwort control trial plots where agronomist John Gallienne explained the trial setup,” she said.
“The aim of the trial was to evaluate some practical control options for ragwort growing in established pastures that are appropriate for the region, including determining the cost-effective outcome of these options for landowners.”
The Yamaha Sky Division provided a demonstration of the Yamaha R-Max unmanned aerial vehicle, which is designed to combat weeds in areas inaccessible by manned aircraft, vehicles or on foot.
Property owner Tim Farrell also demonstrated how steam weeding is being used in his organic blueberry orchard.
Yamaha Sky Division UAV/drone pilot Brent Love said the R-Max was developed in Japan, where it is used to eradicate weeds growing in rice paddy fields.
He said more than 2500 are currently being used in Japan.
“The technology has been in Australia for six years and in the USA and New Zealand for around two years. It is also being used in Korea,” he said.
Mr Love said last Thursday’s demonstration was well received.
“Everyone was interested in it and were pleased the technology of the R-Max was available to them,” he said.
Property owner and Weedsteamers CEO Tim Farrell said his company works mainly with metropolitan councils, to phase out the use of herbicides around children.
He said the technology was also often used around waterways, coastal regions and on organic farming operations.

How to: agronomist John Gallienne, right outlined a trial currently being run on the Farrells’ Fish Creek property, using grazing and fertility management to out compete ragwort in pasture as part of a South Gippsland Landcare Network field day last Thursday.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=22412

Posted by on Aug 30 2017. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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