NRM urges district to identify and control Silverleaf nightshade

Natural Resources Management Officers (NRMOs) in the Upper South East are urging landholders to start taking steps to identify and control Silverleaf nightshade before it becomes established as we head into summer.

Natural Resources South East Team Leader Pest Management Kym Haebich says now is the time to control the declared weed, to help reduce its impact on local agricultural productivity.

“Silverleaf nightshade can have severe impacts across a broad range of land uses, including cropping systems, perennial and annual pasture production, irrigation, and even urban residential land,” Mr Haebich said.

“It is important to identify and control this pest before it establishes.” Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) is a summer-growing, deep-rooted perennial plant that reproduces from seeds and root fragment, which grow rapidly after late spring and summer rains.

Once established, it is difficult to remove and smothers crops.

“Under the NRM Act, it is an offence to transport the plant or anything that contains plant parts or seed, sell the plant, or sell any produce or goods carrying the plant,” Mr Haebich said.

“The seed pods and root systems are well-adapted for spreading by machinery, humans, and animals including stock carrying the seed internally for up to 21 days.”

The Act requires landholders to control the plant on their land using prescribed measures.

To help manage the weed, the Department of Primary Industries and Regions, South Australia (PIRSA) has produced the Silverleaf Nightshade Australian Best Practice Management Manual.

The new manual combines and updates all current information and is available on the PIRSA website.

For information and advice, contact the Natural Resources Centre in Keith on 87551620 or your local Natural Resources Management Officer (NRMO).

Contact details for the South East Natural Resources Management Board’s network of NRMOs are on the Natural Resources South East website.