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Property Sellers: Know Your Invasive Species!
SELLING YOUR PROPERTY?
Invasive species are now regarded as a liability and must be identified before the sale of any property.
The NEMBA Regulations state that a seller of property must, prior to the relevant sale agreement, notify the purchaser of the property (in writing), of the presence of listed invasive species on that property. Estate agents will not be able to sell a property without completing a 'Declaration of Invasive Species' certificate.
A copy of a seller's Declaration of Invasive Species must be lodged with the The Compliance Officer, Biosecurity Services, Department of Environmental Affairs.
THE WEED THAT "MOVES" EVERYTHING AWAY
If you spot this one in your part of the world, raise the alarm! Parthenium hysterophorus (quite a mouthful) - or Famine Weed - is becoming a serious problem in KZN but also closer to home - meaning Gauteng.
The Ethiopians, whose country was invaded by Famine Weed a few decades before South Africa, use a name which roughly translated means "if this plant comes into your area you will have to stop farming and move away". Quite clear?
It rapidly invades disturbed areas, agricultural land used for crop and animal production, fallow land, roadsides and watercourses, causing severe economic losses and threatening biodiversity. Land that is subjected to frequent disturbance eg high grazing pressure, is especially at risk of Famine Weed invasion.
Plants can produce copious quantities of seed - up to 25 000 seeds per plant. It is a known irritant: continuous exposure causes respiratory problems such as hay fever and asthma in many individuals, as well as allergic contact dermatitis. It also taints the flesh and milk of livestock that consume it.
The dry weather has slowed down Pompom Weed this season, but the pest is too tough to give up. The best time to spray is now, when the plants are small. By Christmas they are flowering and by then re-seeding has already taken place.
Fire does not destroy the Pompom - it lies dormant, with nutrients in the underground tuber ready to grow again. Digging it up it is time consuming and any small part left behind, will grow again. Cutting the flower head results in branched growth and several new flowerheads will replace the one snipped off.