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Scientific advice was important in defining the threat posed by Kochia, which was rapidly recognised as significant for other wheat-producing areas in Australia with similar climates. Consequently, management of Kochia became a national priority, and in 1992 a combined national/state-funded eradication program commenced.
Fortunately, eradicating Kochia proved to be relatively uncomplicated. The majority of infestations were small and of low density. Furthermore, Kochia was susceptible to control treatments (herbicides, grazing, burning and mechanical removal) and plants ceased to be seen in treated areas two years after treatment began. The last sightings of Kochia in Western Australia were in March 2000.
The Kochia eradication program was exceptional in many respects, with several biological and management aspects working in favour of a successful outcome. These included detailed knowledge of the original introduction sites, early and well-resourced official intervention, the plant’s largely conspicuous nature and long vegetative period with limited seed dormancy, and the fact that there were fences around most planting sites, which prevented spread.
This case study was published in the Australian Weeds Strategy 2017 to 2027. For bibliographic purposes please cite as: Invasive Plants and Animals Committee 2016, Australian Weeds Strategy 2017 to 2027, Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Canberra.