Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 4


Chondrilla juncea, Geographical distribution, Weed control, Western Australia

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Since its introduction into Australia during the 900s skeleton weed has become one of the most economically significant weeds. Its presence in cereal crops in south-eastern Australia has caused suvere yield reductions and harvesting problems.

Skeleton weed was first found on a Western Australian farm in 963. Since then it has been the subject of an intensive eradication campaign organised by the Agricultural Protection Board and funded by an annual levy on wheat growers. Such campaigns, which rely mainly on volunteer searchers, do not exist in eastern Australia because the weed is so widespread it would be impossible to eradicate.

Studies conducted by the Weed Agronomy research officers, FD Panetta and J Dodd have led to a greater understanding of the biology and porential of skeleton weed in Western Australia. The following article is a sequel to their earlier article in the Journal of Agriculture (Panetta and Dodd 1984) and assesses what influences the establishment and spread of skeleton weed in this State.