Agricultural services for the Red Witchweed Eradication Program

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries has released a request for quote (RFQ) as part of the national cost-share Red Witchweed (Striga asiatica) Eradication Program that undertakes activities to control infestations on eight properties within the Mackay region (Farleigh-Habana).

An integrated treatment strategy is outlined in the Red Witchweed (Striga asiatica) 2022-25 Response Plan.  To meet current and ongoing government and jurisdictional commitments, the program requires engagement of contractors who can provide specific equipment, materials and machinery to undertake activities outlined in the response plan, including ground preparation, crop planting, excavation, crop destruction, fumigation and herbicide application.

Red witchweed is a parasitic plant that grows attached to the roots of certain grasses.  Hosts include commercially important grasses and summer cereals such as sugarcane, sorghum, maize, rice, wheat and barley.  Other weed and grass species can also act as hosts of red witchweed. Without effective control, red witchweed can cause significant reductions in yield of susceptible crops.

Extensive research has been conducted to assess the most effective techniques for use under Mackay conditions to accelerate seedbank decline.

The requirements of the RFQ include:

  • Ground preparation (crop planting)—activity to prepare ground for planting soybean and corn
  • Pasture treatment—activity is to mow/slash designated pasture areas and conduct spray treatment in preparation for planting of soybean or corn (herbicide provided)
  • Planting soybean (seed provided)
  • Herbicide treatments—activity involves conducting spray treatments to control broadleaf weeds and grass in soybean crop or pasture (herbicide provided)
  • Destruction of crops—activity involves destruction of the soybean or corn crops using mechanical methods or herbicides (herbicide provided).
  • Soil fumigation treatment—activity involves conducting soil fumigation treatment to all accessible areas (fumigant provided)
  • Pasture / headland treatment—activity involves mowing/slashing designated areas in preparation for visual assessment for red witchweed detection

The tender is due 2:00 pm on Monday 30 January 2023