CHILEAN needle grass (Nassella neesiana) is a Weed of National Significance and is considered to be one of the worst weeds, because of its invasive nature, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts.
Named for its sharp, pointed seeds, it affects pastures and native grasslands in south-eastern Australia through to north-eastern New South Wales.
In 2005 it was found in the Clifton, Warwick and Cambooya areas. Heavy infestations displace desirable pasture species and the productivity of infested pastures in southern states has decreased by as much as 50%.
The long, sharp seeds can cause injury to animals and downgrade lamb and sheep meat, wool, skins and hides. Chilean needle grass reduces natural biodiversity by replacing native species within native grasslands, grassy woodlands and riparian areas.
The main method of spread is human-assisted as it:
- Adheres to clothing, livestock, vehicles and farm machinery and can be found in contaminated seeds or fodder;
- Is transported by slashers and earth-moving equipment.
The grass can also be spread in floodwater that moves seed downstream and over floodplains.
If you think you have seen this weed, please contact the Southern Downs Regional Council immediately.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.