A result of the substantial rainfall across the Riverina in winter, together with the increase in temperatures, weeds are becoming problematic.
Loosestrife (Lythrum hyssopifolia) is flowering and growing rapidly on many farms in the region and has the potential to be fatal to livestock.
Loosestrife is an upright, hard stemmed herb, similar to rosemary in appearance and has small pink flowers.
District Veterinarian Tim Biffin advises producers to be wary when loosestrife is present.
“Do not allow livestock to graze loosestrife,” Mr Biffin said. “This plant contains a kidney toxin which is often fatal.”
“Cattle are most susceptible and producers may notice lethargy, progressing to death over a period of days.”
Agronomist with Riverina Local Land Services, Lisa Castleman said spraying of the plant with a fast acting herbicide is advised.
“Loosestrife is easier and cheaper to kill at the seedling stage, rather than waiting until the plant is mature,” she said.
“Producers should also consider the right herbicide choice or mixture to achieve weed control of loosestrife (and other summer weeds) and respect any with-holding periods if contaminated paddocks are subsequently grazed.”
Producers with concerns should contact their nearest Local Land Services office on 1300 795 299.
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