Improving Regional Adoption of Weed Control – A Case Study in the New England

While reasonable scientific approaches to weed control have been developed for many weeds and land-use types, adoption of weed control is still often poor. One landholder will control weeds, while the neighbour will not. Because many of those uncontrolled weeds are invasive, the lack of collective action has spillover effects on the environment, community and agricultural production in the surrounding region. Adoption of weed control is particularly poor in regional pastoral communities (compared with cropping regions).

Through case studies in two pastoral regions (the New England and the Southern Tablelands, both in NSW), the goals of this project were to:

  • identify the barriers and incentives to adoption of weed control across individuals and institutions (using a multidisciplinary approach to look at scientific and technical issues, knowledge needs, social attitudes, community and industry networks, environmental concerns, legal issues, institutional structures and economics) in the New England and compare these with barriers and incentives from the Southern Tablelands of NSW;
  • identify strategies, processes and actions that may be able to be implemented and trialled to overcome adoption constraints; and
  • identify priorities for future funding stages to improve weed control adoption through research, development and extension.

The case study weed was serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma) and the case study approach facilitated an understanding of the problem in the context of a region and its community.  From this, general principles could be drawn, tested elsewhere and applied nationally to a range of regions and landscape types.

This project was led by Professor Brian Sindel from the School of Environmental and Rural Science, UNE, with the assistance of the Institute for Rural Futures.

Related publications

Berney, P.J., Sindel, B.M., Coleman, M.J., Marshall, G.R., Reeve, I.J. and Kristiansen, P.E. 2012. 'Improving regional adoption of weed control: a case study'. Paper presented to the 18th Australasian Weeds Conference, Melbourne, 8-11 October.
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Completed in 2012

Funded by: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation

Partners: Brian Sindel, Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England

Contact: Ian Reeve; Graham Marshall