Red Witchweed is a root parasite that is exotic to Australia and affects the production of sugarcane and cereal crops by depriving them of water and nutrients.
Red Witchweed is a root parasite that is exotic to Australia and affects the production of sugarcane and cereal crops by depriving them of water and nutrients. Contributed

Weed alert for Red witchweed on the Tweed

FAR North Coast Weeds wants Tweed residents to be vigilant after a class one pest weed was discovered growing in Queensland.

Red witchweed was found growing in a sugarcane crop at Mackay last week.

Extension officer Kim Curtis said the weed was a very serious pest that can reduce the growth of sugarcane, cereal crops and legumes by 100% in some cases.

"This is the first outbreak in Australia, however it could easily grow in our region and wreak havoc," she said.

"While the weed has been confirmed on one property, information to date suggests that the infestation may be on a small number of other properties in the immediate area."

It is believed to originate from Africa.

It is unknown how long the weed has been growing and how it got into the country.

Biosecurity Queensland has placed movement restrictions on the cane farm where the weed was confirmed. Landholders in Northern NSW are urged to report any suspect weeds to Far North Coast Weeds on 6623 3847.



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