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Flaxleaf fleabane biological control


Flaxleaf fleabane (photo courtesy of M. Widderick QDAF)

Flaxleaf fleabane (Conyza bonariensis) is major weed of cropping in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland. This weed is estimated to cause revenue losses in excess of $43 million for grain producers. Development of resistance to herbicides is making populations increasingly difficult to manage in these agricultural environments. Biological control is a potentially useful and valuable tool for the management of flaxleaf fleabane given the success of previous biological control programs against other weeds in the Asteraceae family such as Parthenium hysterophorus and Chromolaena odorata.

This research on flaxleaf fleabane is part of the project ‘Biocontrol solutions for sustainable management of weed impacts to agricultural profitability’ led by AgriFutures Australia (formerly the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC)). This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit programme. The Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) is acknowledged for its financial support to the flaxleaf fleabane component of the project.