The economics of serrated tussock in New South Wales

R.E. Jones and D.T. Vere, Co-operative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems and NSW Agriculture, Orange Agricultural Institute, Forest Road, Orange, New South Wales 2800, Australia.


Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma) is a grass native to South America which has become a serious weed in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa because firstly, it results in significant losses in livestock production due to heavy reductions in carrying capacity in infested pastures. Secondly, control by pasture improvement requires a large capital investment which hinders the adoption of control recommendations for many landholders. Thirdly, significant external costs can be attributed to this weed. Spread is generally by wind with seeds from uncontrolled areas travelling up to 20 km a day.

The distribution and density of serrated tussock has been surveyed for 19 local government areas in central and southern New South Wales. These data have been incorporated into a GIS which has been combined with data on soil fertility and rainfall to provide the necessary constraints for a regional linear programming model to estimate the production losses due to this weed. Econometric models of the wool and livestock industries were used to estimate the economic impact of serrated tussock on the New South Wales central and southern tablelands.


Plant Protection Quarterly (1998) 13 (2) 70-76.