Economic benefits of a recent research program into controlling serrated tussock in south-eastern Australia

D.T. VereA, G.R. GriffithB and R.E. JonesA

A NSW Agriculture, Orange Agricultural Institute, Forest Road, Orange, New South Wales 2800, Australia.

B NSW Agriculture Beef Industry Centre, University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales 2351, Australia.


Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma (Nees) Arechav.) is an economically important weed in the temperate regions of south-eastern Australia. Serrated tussock causes heavy losses of pasture and livestock production, is costly to control, and imposes external costs through spread. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the economic benefits of recent research into serrated tussock in Australia. Estimates were made of the annual costs of serrated tussock to wool producers and of the benefits from an increased level of research into control using cost data from the New South Wales and Victorian state governments. The mean annual opportunity costs of wool production foregone because of serrated tussock ranged between $81.6 million for the lowest (20%) weed content in the pasture to $226.5 million for the highest (50%) content. The incremental net present value of benefits of the recent research program into controlling serrated tussock had mean values of $63.3 million at the lowest weed content and $185.4 million at the highest content. Disaggregating the benefits between wool producers and consumers in different regions showed that although the gains to research into serrated tussock control could be high, the large economic welfare gains to the temperate region's wool producers had to be balanced against losses of economic welfare to wool producers in other regions.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2004) 19 (3) 102-109.