Widespread shrub encroachment following a reduction in fire frequency is a major factor limiting livestock production throughout the semi -arid woodlands of eastern Australia. The development of integrated shrub control strategies may provide an effective solution to the shrub problem by overcoming two major obstacles to a greater level of landholder acceptance of prescribed fire technology: control of resprouting shrubs and lack of fuel. It is proposed that prescribed fire be used to provide the initial defoliation in those areas where there are adequate fuel loads. Because follow -up treatment must be undertaken within one or two years, secondary defoliation might be applied using sub -lethal concentrations of selective and environmentally acceptable chemicals. Economic effectiveness may be enhanced by using aerial operational procedures to rapidly treat those areas within individual paddocks which can provide maximum response in terms of increased herbage and animal productivity. This integrated approach, aided by decision support systems, may offer landholders a cost -effective means of applying shrub control over entire properties.
AN EVALUATION OF THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF INTEGRATED SHRUB CONTROL STRATEGIES
Australian Rangeland Society
6TH Australian Rangeland Society Conference