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Minimising the spread of yellow bristle grass

Yellow bristle grass (YBG) has a distinctive spiky seed head which begins to appear in late December, but is most obvious in January and February.

The growth of YBG on our country roadsides has increased over recent years and is now a significant agricultural issue in the Waikato.

The weed aggressively competes with cultivated pasture species and can reduce farm productivity. Seeds are spread by animals, water, soil movement, machinery, and through contaminated hay or maize brought into paddocks.

Waitomo District Council is collaborating with the Waikato Regional Council, AgResearch and Roading contractors to improve control of yellow bristle grass on our District road network.

In an effort to minimise the spread of yellow bristle grass along roadsides WDC is:

  • Completing roadside mowing in November and December.  
  • Completing marker peg spraying in January, follow-up in late autumn to avoid a spring spray.
  • Ensuring machinery is washed down following completion of mowing in affected areas.
  • Mowing a narrow verge as required for road visibility, but stopping short of the fence line – leaving a barrier of tall growing grasses to inhibit the spread of yellow bristle grass into roadside paddocks.

See the related links on this webpage for guidance information about yellow bristle grass management.