Recent Weather and Weeds

Rains have come and so have the weeds!

As we transition into Autumn the effects of El Nino and the weather events of the Summer are impossible to ignore. While El Nino continues to persist, it is predicted to weaken as we progress further into the Autumn months. With waters along the east and southeast of Australia having been unusually warm, this has helped suppress the drying effect normally associated with El Nino. Coupled with strong winds there has been the perfect conditions for rainfall. As we have experienced, being in an El Nino does not influence the likelihood of severe thunderstorm systems. Extreme rainfall and flooding are possible any year regardless of whether El Nino has indicated drier conditions.

In the aftermath of severe thunderstorms, floods, and heavy downpours over the last few months has come the surge in weed growth across Australia. Above average rainfall has led to huge growth in vegetation, particularly weeds, across much of the Australian landscape.

Often overlooked, risks of weed invasion significantly increase both during and after an emergency such as heavy rainfall and flooding. Weed growth patterns can be significantly influenced with strong weather and floods causing greater spread of seeds, buds, and roots while weed herbicide spraying is interrupted by rain and wind. With the recent wet weather we have been experiencing, weeds have received the boost they need to grow and spread.

Weeds not only compete with plants for essential nutrients, water, space, and sunlight, but can also have detrimental effects on crop yields, productivity, and quality in an agricultural setting. A major threat the Australia’s natural environment, weeds can invade and disrupt the natural diversity of the landscape. The surrounding, often native, plants are smothered and replaced by the weed.

If left uncontrolled this weed growth can become progressively costly and difficult to manage. Weeds need to be found early so you can manage or eradicate them easier from the area due to the encouraged and accelerated weed growth. Effective weed management strategies therefore become increasingly important after weather events. It is recommended that during times of heavy rainfall and floods that areas should be monitored for 12 months afterwards so any new weed infestations can be detected and targeted before they have the chance to takeover.

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