Landholder fined over pest plant infestation

The owner of a rural property near Golden Grove has been convicted and fined $3500 for failing to control Wild Artichoke on her 13 hectare property.

Wild Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is a declared plant which landholders are required to control under the Natural Resources Management Act 2004. It should not be mistaken for the common edible artichoke (Cynara scolymus).

The Golden Grove property has been the focus of concern about Wild Artichoke since 2016, and despite being advised of her obligations on numerous occasions, the current owner failed to address the problem on the property.

In addition to the fine, the court has ordered the landowner to engage an accredited consultant to develop a three-year plan to control and keep controlled the property’s Wild Artichoke infestation.

Tony Fox from Natural Resources Northern and Yorke said the case was a timely reminder for landholders in the Northern and Yorke region to act to control this known pest plant and other weeds on their properties.

“All landholders are responsible for controlling noxious weeds like Wild Artichoke, not only for the health and productivity of their land, but also to prevent outbreaks on neighbouring properties,” Mr Fox said.

“Heavy infestations of this prickly plant can deter livestock from grazing large tracts of land, compete with crops and cause time delays during harvest.

“It’s also a common pest of bushland, creek lines and roadsides, where unmanaged invasions can form dense thickets that impede property access and use.”

Mr Fox encouraged landholders to prioritise pest plant control during autumn as weeds would begin to respond to increasing rainfall.

“Now is an ideal time to control weeds like Wild Artichoke,” he said. “The autumn break will stir this pest plant into action, so it’s critical to get on top of it while it’s still small and before it begins drawing moisture and nutrients from the soil. Young plants are very easy to control, but they can grow into very large, spiky plants that become much more difficult to manage.

“Taking a long-term approach to weed control is also important, as Wild Artichoke requires follow-up control over three to four years.”

For tailored advice on effective control methods for Wild Artichoke and any other declared pest plant or animal, please contact the Northern and Yorke team on (08) 8841 3400 or email ny.landscape@sa.gov.au

 

More information