Weed Problems in Australia

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    As in some other parts of the world, noxious weeds are proving a serious source of trouble in Australia. The problem has been under the consideration of the Standing Committee of Agriculture and independently by several of the bodies represented on it. An arrangement was made in 1934 that as a preliminary to further work an officer of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research should undertake a survey of the problem, the economic importance of different weeds, methods of control which had been already tried and their results, and so forth; his report to include recommendations for further co-operative work. The survey was undertaken by Mr. G. A. Currie, of the Division of Economic Entomology, assisted in certain aspects by Mr. J. Calvert, of the Division of Plant Industry. The report has been recently drawn up by Mr. Currie, and the more important portions of it are published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of Australia in Pamphlet No. 60, “A Report on a Survey of Weed Problems in Australia” (Melbourne: Government Printer, 1936). Apart from the study made of past records of the activities and damage resulting from weeds, the weed legislation of each State was studied and the methods of administration ascertained. The pamphlet outlines the losses incurred from weeds, and the existing methods of control and the relation of dangerous weed growth to various primary industries. There is much in this pamphlet which could be studied with advantage in Great Britain. Among the sixteen weeds selected as being the most important in Australia are such well-known ones as bracken, stinkwort, thistles, blackberry, St. John's wort, lantana, ragwort, convolvulus and wild turnip.

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