Developing a plan
When developing a pest management plan, it is important to:
- consider why you need a plan
- know what you want the plan to achieve
- understand the invasive plants and animals in your area
- consider the principles of pest management
- consider other pest management plans
- set achievable objectives.
Before finalising your pest management objectives, it is also important to consider the interaction between pests and other issues such as land, water, vegetation and cultural heritage.
Steps to planning
The following 6 steps will assist in effective pest planning:
1. Understand the pest issue
Why are the plants or animals a problem? What factors influence the presence of the pest? What damage are they causing and where? What are the available control methods? What does your local community want you to do about it?
2. Develop a draft pest management plan
Plans are made up of a property map and a written report.
Prepare a map to assist in analysing pest-related risks for your property. Maps can be sourced from your local government or Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
Mark the location, size and density of infestations or areas of likely incursions or predation as an overlay to your map.
Estimating percentage weed cover may assist you in assessing the severity of weed infestations, prioritising your pest control activities and when repeated over time, in assessing the effectiveness of weed control measures. It may also be of use when applying for a permit to clear native vegetation to manage pests or weeds.
To estimate weed cover, at 10m intervals (i.e. at 10, 20, 30 and 40m) along a survey line, consider an area of 5m in radius around you and assess the percent weed cover. Weed cover is determined by estimating the area of the ground covered by the canopy of the weed species, ignoring overlaps and gaps within the individual canopies—see Figure 1 below. Use an average of 4 estimates to get a percentage for the area. Repeat at multiple survey points across the areas affected, and add results to your written plan and map overlays.
Use the information you have documented on your base map and worksheets to decide how to manage the pest problems on your property. Your targets and activities will depend on factors such as the type of pest, the extent and density of the infestation, the land type and your farming enterprise.
Identify ways to limit the spread of weeds across your property, consider:
- improving stock movement practices and holding practices
- cleaning down vehicles before they leave the property and when they arrive from other areas
- checking the weed free status of purchased seed, fodder, soil, gravel, sand and garden products
- ensuring that weed hygiene is included in this plan
Document what is going to be done, where, when, by whom and resources required.
Consider asking pest management experts, such as Biosecurity Queensland or local government officer,and those who will be affected by the plan, for their input, ideas and opinions.
4. Finalise and implement the plan
Implement and/or coordinate any actions outlined in the plan within the set time frame and budget.
5. Monitor your actions
Check that actions have been implemented, measure the effectiveness of control methods and review the timing of control programs.
6. Evaluate and review the overall results
Check that the plan's objectives have been met.
Questions to consider include the following:
- Were the actions implemented? If not, why?
- Were the desired results achieved from the activities implemented? If not, why?
- What were the actual costs?
- What were the positive or negative changes (if any) as a result of the plan, including changes in the pests's population and impact?
Use this information to determine if a new management plan should be developed, and if any changes should be incorporated.
There are numerous organisations that can provide advice about developing a pest management plan. Your local Biosecurity Queensland or local government officer can advise you or contact Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.