Cropping is suitable for land where pasture is rundown. It requires considerable preparation: heavily graze the land, burn or slash to remove excess plant litter in heavy infestations, apply broadacre herbicide to kill existing material, cultivate to completely overturn plants, sow the crop with suitable fertiliser as per soil test results, treat fence lines so that serrated tussock doesn’t grow in areas that can’t cropped and spot spray any emerging serrated tussock plants in the crop.
For winter crops, prepare land to sow in autumn. For summer crops, prepare land to sow in spring. Timing of sowing will depend on rainfall.
Pros and cons
Continued cultivation kills serrated tussock plants. Crops provide strong competition with emerging serrated tussock and reduces the serrated tussock seed bank. Crops can be used as a feed source and may provide income. However, soil disturbance causes mass germination of serrated tussock and buried seed may persist for longer than seed on the surface. Cropping requires higher labour costs and investment in machinery. Cultivated areas still need to be spot sprayed along fence lines and untreated areas. Insufficient rainfall to successfully establish a competitive crop may allow serrated tussock to establish at higher densities.
Treat fence lines so that serrated tussock doesn’t grow in the areas that can’t be cropped and spot spray serrated tussock plants that emerge. Crop for several years to reduce the seed bank. After cropping re-establish suitable perennial pasture to compete with any remaining infestation.
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