Chilean Needle Grass Control Guide

Spread of ​C​​​hile​an needle grass
  • Chilean needle grass infestation​

    Chilea​n needle grass panicle seed is large and heavy and will not travel very far in the wind, maybe only a few metres.
  • 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.
  • Chilean needle grass seed can also be carried in mud on the hooves of livestock, machinery and implements, on vehicle tyres, in contaminated hay and on firewood.
  • Chilean needle grass panicle seed can be dispersed by water along creeks and drainage channels.

Avoid the introduction of Chil​ean needle grass

  • Preventing the invasion of Chilean needle grass is the cheapest and most effective means of control.
  • Learn to identify Chilean needle grass, regularly check for it and act immediately to remove it.
  • Regularly monitor known Chilean needle grass infested areas.
  • Appropriately dispose of any panicle seed collected.
  • Encourage the growth of competition in infested areas.
  • If possible avoid working in an area infested with Chilean needle grass until it has been controlled.
  • See the Weed and Disease Planning and Hygiene Guidelines for detailed information on how to wash-down equipment and personnel to reduce the chance of spreading Chilean needle grass.
Contro​​l options
  • Before undertaking control works confirm that the species you intend to control is in fact Chilean needle grass as the plant you are dealing with may be a native Tasmanian grass.
  • The following information is for the control of small populations of Chilean needle grass in urban environments including roadside reserves and native grassland situations.
  • For identification and advice on the control of populations in pasture situations or larger infestations contact Biosecurity Tasmania on 03 6165 3777.

Phy​sical removal

  • Small infestations and isolated Chilean needle grass plants can be chipped out with a mattock preferably before the plants set seed. Ensure that the base of the plant and as much of the root as possible is removed.
  • Do not chip out large patches of Chilean needle grass where a seed bank has built up: any soil disturbance will cause the germination of seeds.

Chemica​​l control

Chilean needle grass can be controlled with the application of a herbicide. See Chilean Needle Grass - Herbicides for Control for further information.

Important Disclaimer
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.
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