This project commenced in October 2006 and was funded by Newcrest Mining Limited for a period of three years. The research has been conducted by Dr Janet Anthony and Bob Dixon and has focused principally on Aerva javanica (Kapok Bush) as the most significant weed at Telfer.
This plant is native to northern Africa and to southwest Asia and was introduced to assist with the revegetation of degraded rangelands and is now widespread over arid Australia. Kapok has the capacity to flower any month of the year and produces copious amounts of seed.
The best time for herbicide application is usually when the plant is actively growing and under no water stress however, at Telfer this time is also the hottest time of the year when average temperatures are in excess of 40 degrees Celsius.
Though a range of herbicides were trialled, the only successful treatment proved to glyphosate with the addition of Pulse a penetrant to assist herbicide uptake. Anecdotally, in other areas where this weed grows, particularly near the coast, it is easier to control under more favourable spraying conditions.