WHAT do you call a room full of weed-management specialists?
“Weedos” was the light-hearted term ABC Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis used in his video address to welcome more than 400 researchers, scientists, agronomists and weed control officers from around Australia who have gathered in Sydney today.
For 21 years, weed management experts have been coming together from across the country to share knowledge, insights and strategies for managing weeds at the annual Australasian Weeds Conferences, held in a different city each year.
Mr Georgiadis praised the organising Council of Australian Weed Societies (CAWS) for achieving 21 annual conferneces, noting the event’s milestone birthday was symbolic of the growing weed control movement around Australia.
With today’s capacity to shift large volumes of people and products from one part of the world to another at the speed of a jet aircraft, incredible disturbances were happening to landscapes and exposing entire areas to new potential weed threats.
But with new knowledge and technologies was coming a greater ability to turn disturbances into opportunities to predict outcomes and prepare mitigation strategies.
“Clearly this conference is a 21-year-old,” he said.
“It has a head on its shoulders, it knows where it is going, but at the same time it is finding its feet in these new challenges.
“By being together, by coming and sharing these thoughts, both locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, we can see and incubate for a better word the solutions to the problems of nature’s rampant invasive capacity when you let weeds loose in landscapes where they have never been or should never have been before.”
Costa urged people to share information on weeds on social media to ensure weed issues were understood beyond the tight-knit group of the weed community.
“Make an effort to do a this because the exponential value of it is immeasurable,” he said.
“Go forth weedos; love your work.”
Over the next three days, the conference is hearing from a wide range of local and international weed management experts, covering topics such as new technologies, systems and tools being used in weed management, new ways of modelling, communication, surveillance and detection; biological, mechanical, and chemical weed control and research, herbicide resistance and the impact of changing climates on future weed distribution.
More stories from the conference to appear on Grain Central this week.