Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fungus May Beat GPG, Even Away from Coast

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Fungus May Beat GPG, Even Away from Coast

Article excerpt

A GROUP of Bostobrick farmers have banded together to find out how a microscopic fungus can help control giant parramatta grass (GPG) on the Dorrigo plateau.

The fungus Nigrospora oryzae attacks this significant pasture weed by rotting the crown of the plant - where the leaves meet the roots.

Scientists at NSW DPI have been carrying out trials on the effectiveness of the pathogen in killing the weed and its ability to spread naturally in paddocks with a view to developing a "bioherbicide".

The results have been promising, but all trials to date have been on the coast and it is uncertain whether the same success will be achieved in cooler, high altitude landscapes.

The project is the brainchild of local farmer and DPI livestock officer Todd Andrews who has seen GPG spread widely in local pastures over the past 10 years.

"We hope that we will be able to find out over the next 18 months whether the crown rot is going to help control the weed on the Plateau," Mr Andrews said. …

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