Identifying and managing environmental weed risk in perennial pasture research

Lynley M. StoneA,C,D, Margaret ByrneA,C and John G. VirtueB,D

A Department of Environment and Conservation, Locked Bag 104, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia.

B Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation, GPO Box 2834, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.

C Future Farm Industries Co-operative Research Centre.

D Co-operative Research Centre for Australian Weed Management.


The widespread adoption of perennial plants into Australian agriculture is an important strategy to improve adaptability to changing climate and create more sustainable and diverse agricultural systems that are productive. To achieve this, species new to Australian agriculture, and improved cultivars of existing agricultural species are required. To complement this research, an environmental weed risk management strategy (WRM) has been developed specifically for perennial pasture research programs, to minimize risk of new cultivars and land-use systems to natural ecosystems. The strategy incorporates pre-trial screening, weed risk assessment, experimental site hygiene practices, and species management guidelines. The weed risk assessment protocol is operational in a multi-state research program, and the other components are in early stages of development. This strategy addresses the need for environmental weed risk management in pasture research programs, and provides an operational environmental weed risk assessment protocol specifically for pasture species.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2008) 23 (2) 73-76.