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Agriculture Victoria urges farmers to have say on combating pests and weeds

By Rodney Woods

Agriculture Victoria is seeking support from private landholders, including farmers, to help combat pests and weeds which cost Victoria more than $1 billion a year in management and control programs.

A statewide survey is open so Agriculture Victoria can better understand the social and behavioural factors that influence pest and weed management.

“We've been working closely with our key stakeholders and community members to better understand the barriers people face with implementing weed and rabbit management practices,” Agriculture Victoria acting program manager Heidi Kleinert said.

Ms Kleinert said community participation was crucial to understanding these issues.

“Rabbits and weeds are a problem for all landholders, including farmers and public land managers, and we need to tackle this together,” she said.

“We are asking land managers to share with us how they manage weeds and rabbits on their property.

“The survey results will tell us what is working well at the moment, but also where improvements can be made.”

North-east landholder and community representative Neil Devanny said a major issue for farmers in meeting their obligations to control pest animals and plants came down to setting and managing priorities.

“We all need to harvest our crops, shear our sheep, market our livestock and so this work must happen,” he said.

“It is easy to drive past a rabbit burrow or weed and say I will do that tomorrow.

“An effective pest program needs to remind and prompt landholders to take action, especially on a collective basis.”

The survey can be found at weedsandrabbits.com/survey and closes on Wednesday, June 24.