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An investigation of the effects of stage of ensilage on Nassella neesiana seeds, for reducing seed viability and injury to livestock

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Version 2 2024-06-17, 22:39
Version 1 2019-05-29, 13:40
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-17, 22:39 authored by SL Weller, SK Florentine, JF Sillitoe, CJ Grech, DA McLaren
The noxious weed Nassella neesiana is established on a wide range of productive land throughout southeastern Australia. N. neesiana seeds, when mature, are sharp, causing injury to livestock, thus posing a problem in fodder bales. To reduce infestations of agricultural weeds in situ, production of silage from weed-infested pastures is practised as part of integrated weed management (IWM). However, there is little data to demonstrate whether this process is useful to reduce infestations or the harmful properties of N. neesiana. Therefore, the minimum duration of ensilage required to reduce the viability of N. neesiana seeds was investigated, both with and without addition of ensilage inoculants in this process. Also, the decreasing propensity of the seeds to injure livestock, after various times and conditions of ensilage, was assessed. Ensilage inoculant reduced seed germination probability to zero after 35 days. When no inoculant was added, zero viability was achieved after 42 days. A qualitative assessment of the hardness of ensilaged seeds found seed husks were softer (and therefore safer) after 42 days, whether inoculant was used or not. Therefore, we suggest that both the viability of N. neesiana seeds and hardness of seed casings are significantly reduced after 42 days, thereby reducing the risks of seed dispersal and injury to livestock.

History

Journal

Scientific reports

Volume

6

Article number

22345

Location

London, Eng.

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

2045-2322

eISSN

2045-2322

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2019, The Authors

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

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