Australia Ramps up Attempts to Fight Weeds and Pests

By Hari Yellina
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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Pest and weed control will cost around $40 million in federal and state funds, with the goal of reducing the influence on agriculture and the environment. Weeds are the most costly category of agricultural pests. Worldwide, weeds cause more yield loss and add more to farmers’ production costs than insect pests, crop pathogens, root-feeding nematodes, or warm-blooded pests (rodents, birds, deer, and other large grazers). A total of $20 million has been set aside by the federal government to help Australia tackle pests and weeds. Australia’s states and territories will match the multi-million dollar package to diminish the effect on agriculture, wildlife, and the environment. Pest animals and weeds, according to Ministers for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud and Sussan Ley, pose a severe danger to Australia’s primary production, ecology, and biodiversity.

Mr Littleproud stated, “Pests and weeds are a big and growing challenge for Australia’s agribusinesses and the environment.” Money for trapping, baiting, and culling, as well as biological control release, will be included in the monetary injection. They will target nationally significant pest and weed species throughout recognised hot zones, such as feral deer, feral pigs, cats, foxes, rabbits, wild dogs, and a range of invasive weeds. The investment, according to Ms Ley, would assist better preserve Australia’s unique atmosphere from invading the flora and fauna, as well as support the new Threatened Species Strategy.

Reducing pest animals and weeds will result in more productive and profitable enterprises, as well as benefits to native wildlife and the environment. The money is part of a $330 million commitment between 2014 and 2025 to tackle pest animals and weeds, according to the government. The money will fund the first national Feral Pig Action Plan, which has been in place since May 2021, according to Heather Channon, National Feral Pig Management Co-ordinator.

Feral pigs are expected to cost agribusinesses more than $100 million per year. These wild animals negatively affect over half of Australia’s landmass. Feral pigs generate problems by feeding on newborn lambs, lowering crop yields, and destroying fences and waterways. They compete for forage with livestock and pose a risk of disease transmission. Pigs also have a severe negative impact on ecosystems, biodiversity, and habitat. Feral animals are expected to wreak $800 million in damage to agriculture across the country, while weeds cost more than $4 billion in production losses and control measures.


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