Biological control of Paterson’s curse – an interactive guide

Raelene Kwong DPI Victoria - Meat & Livestock Australia Limited

Type: Research Paper
Knowledge level: Advanced

Farm Table says:

This research article covers the biological control of Paterson's curse and features an interactive guide online that discusses the CD that is available to assist producers, agronomists and the wider farming community. The CD will become a true ‘One Stop Pato Shop'.

What is the problem?

The objective of the project is to develop and deliver a toolkit in the form of a CD providing a biological control of Paterson’s curse resource to support primary producers, agronomists, and Weed Extension personnel.

This proposal is aimed to:

• Spread the CD providing information to the target audience on access and management of biological weed control agents for Paterson’s curse.

• Transport procedure implemented for the 500 copies provided to each State.

What did the research involve?

– Material for the CD was collated from the Agency partners in the project – DPI Victoria, NSW DPI, SARDI, DAFWA.

– The CD was developed with a multi-level cascade structure which can be navigated spatially (click-on maps) or through standard dynamic menus and/or static links. Information was categorized by user type (ie farmer, weed officer, etc) enabling its users to navigate to information relevant to their needs.

– The CD contains information targeted at landholder and Landcare groups seeking opportunities for biocontrol; accessing agents; identification of establishing nursery sites; managing populations through wet and dry periods; estimates of adequate populations; monitoring tools (frequency / method); biocontrol and other control methods; network contact details; maps of where agents are located; where agents could be effective; relevant brochures/ publications relating to the project weeds or agents.

-The structural and graphic design was sub-contracted to Coolatai Technologies Pty Ltd. Coolatai Technologies was responsible for the development of the complex content cascade and the spatial and menu based navigational systems.

– A CD distribution strategy was formulated based on state
needs at the national workshop.

What were the key findings?

Market research was carried out in order to determine who the end users of a CD on the Biological Control of Paterson’s curse might be, and what content would be required in such a CD to meet their needs.

These end-user groups require both general information on the biological control of Paterson’s curse, and some more specific information for the different end-user groups.

Landholder/managers – The representatives of this group of end users identified the following information requirements for the CD:
• Biological information about Paterson’s curse – how to identify it, life cycle.

• What is biological control – how does it work, will it work for me, how much does it cost, how quickly does it work.

• Biological control of Paterson’s curse – what are the agents being used, are they safe.

• Integrated Weed Management (IWM) – what is it, how would it fit in with my farming/grazing regime, where does biological control fit in with IWM, can I use biological control if I’m spraying pesticides.

• Key contacts in local area – is biological control available in my area, is it suitable for me, who do I contact, where do I get the agents.

• Collection, release, and redistribution of biological control agents – what is a nursery site, how do I choose a release site, how do I collect the agents, what equipment will I need, how do I monitor the agents when I have released them.

• Frequently Asked Questions.

Enforcement Officers – Biological control is only one part of an enforcement officer’s brief; therefore, the representatives of this group of end users identified the following information requirements for the CD:
• IWM – using biological control with other management techniques.

• IWM – using biological control with other management techniques.

• Biological information about the weed and its lifecycle, and the agents and their lifecycles.

• Status of release sites of biological control agents in their area maps.

• Regional contacts.
• Landholder/managers obligations in managing Paterson’s curse infestations.

Extension Officers – These individuals are in a position of providing advice about the biological control of Paterson’s curse, therefore, the representatives of this group of end users identified the following information requirements for the CD:

• IWM – how to use biological control with other methods of management.

• Biological control agents for Paterson’s curse – what are the agents, which are suitable, agent lifecycle.

• Collection and release technical details– how to choose a nursery site, how many insects are required for release, when do I collect and release.

• Maps of releases – localities of nursery sites.

• Regional contacts – building networks across areas/regions.

-A series of consultative meetings with the sub-contractor, Coolatai Technologies Pty Ltd, was undertaken in order to design the structure and content of the CD.

Final comment

There is presently no on-line comprehensive guide to the biological control of Paterson’s curse. We, therefore, recommend that the Paterson’s curse CD be made available through the internet.

2013 - Australia - Raelene Kwong DPI Victoria - Meat & Livestock Australia Limited
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