Control of blackberry in the New England region
K.G. Waters, New England County Council, PO Box 881, Armidale, New South Wales 2350, Australia.
Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus L. agg.) continues to be a weed of importance in the New England area of New South Wales. Following its introduction to the Tablelands with the early European settlers, the species adapted quickly to the high rainfall conditions and especially to areas of higher fertility. Early attempts at control were handicapped by a lack of suitable herbicides and application equipment.
The presence of blackberry in such proportions caused so much concern that it was largely responsible for the formation of a specialist Local Government organization to deal with it (namely, the New England Tablelands Noxious Plants County Council or NETNPCC). The introduction of phenoxy herbicides followed by significant improvements to application technology had a dramatic effect on blackberry control. Control standards set by the NETNPCC had a positive influence on community expectations.
Later developments in herbicides revived flagging confidence and pushed control to higher levels. Blackberry control is positively influenced by grazing management. Elevated soil fertility levels, whether applied as fertilizer or occurring naturally, increase control requirements significantly. Implementation of sound management principles will ensure that the effect of blackberry is minimized. The overall costs of control and the penalties associated with delay in managing blackberry can be very high.
Plant Protection Quarterly (1998) 13 (4) 186-188.