Why are weeds an issue for farmers?
Weeds aggressively compete with any other vegetation in the area. They invade crops, harm livestock and can quickly spread across a property and prevent any productive use of that land for farmers.
Weeds will compete with other native plants or pasture for the three things they need in order to grow:
- nutrients in the soil.
In any patch of soil there is only a limited supply of these three things, meaning that if the weeds are growing, they are stealing those growth inputs that would otherwise be used by the native plants in that area.
Typically weeds will outgrow the native species or grasses in an area because they:
- Are not affected by the pests or diseases that would limit their growth in their natural habitat.
- Are better suited to the growing conditions of an area outside their natural habitat.
This means that weeds on a property will inhibit the growth of Australian agricultural products, whether that’s a livestock farmer that is struggling to maintain pasture to feed and grow his stock or a wheat grower who is having trouble growing the crop.