EXPERTS are gaining control over a major outbreak of parthenium weed in the state's North West.
The 65-hectare area of the noxious weed was discovered at Croppa Creek, near the Queensland-NSW border, in a sorghum crop by an agronomist late last year.
It is understood the weed may have been introduced into the area by a contractor via equipment that was used to harvest a forage sorghum crop in May 2021.
"The harvest contractor had previously worked in Central Queensland - an area well-known to have widespread parthenium weed infestations," NSW Department of Primary Industries state priority weeds co-ordinator, Nicola Dixon said.
"It's a reminder to ensure machinery and vehicles which have been in Queensland are cleaned before they are permitted to enter their property."
Since the discovery, DPI biosecurity experts as well as local producers have been combating the problem while urging other producers to stay vigilant.
Croppa Creek producer Lyndon Mulligan said it was the first time the weed had appeared on his property and that he was working alongside the DPI teams to contain the outbreak.
"We have never had parthenium weed on the property and we are all fortunate that parthenium weed is taken seriously in NSW," Mr Mulligan said.
"As farmers managing this outbreak, we appreciate the specialist support from NSW DPI, Local Land Services, Gwydir Shire Council and Moree Plains Shire Council.
"Parthenium can only be successfully managed and kept out of NSW through the continued co-operation, support and hard work of government and the community."
Mr Mulligan said the outbreak was a reminder to carefully inspect machinery that may have been in contact with the weed before putting it to work.
"In future, I will ask more questions before machinery enters the farm and find what checks have been undertaken on equipment from Queensland at the NSW border," he said.
This latest infestation is the second in the Croppa Creek area in the past year and the 42nd parthenium weed incursion detected in NSW since April 2020, which the DPI puts down to increased hay movement between states.
The DPI warned that parthenium weed can spread rapidly, be dangerous to livestock, can host crop viruses and can reduce land values, as well as cause serious allergic reactions in some people if they come into contact with the plant or pollen.
For more information about parthenium weed and how to identify the plant at different growth stages visit: weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/weeds/partheniumweed.
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