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Community members and landholders from Northcliffe, Pemberton, Yanmah and Manjimup attended two days of training in May this year, in pursuit of a weed control endorsement as Licensed Pest Management Technicians (LPMT).
A qualified pest controller resource-gap was identified by project officers from expressions of interest submitted by local farmers in January and February.
The purpose of arranging LPMT training is to not only raise the capability of people within the Shire of Manjimup to effectively and safely carry out weed control on their own properties, but also to build a resource of Department of Health accredited operators who can conduct weed control on behalf of others.
This project is funded by the Australian Government under the "Communities Combating Pests and Weed Impacts During Drought Program", the training was conducted by Andrew Nicholson, an experienced trainer for the Registered Training Organisation, South Regional TAFE.
Seven students attended training held at the Community Resources Centre, Manjimup on 13-14 May, using the multi-function room, which provided adequate safe social distancing during the period of COVID-19 restrictions for the region. On successful completion, the students received a state recognised qualification.
With emphasis on practical considerations, part of the course was delivered in-class and part of it in the field. Mr Nicholson said, "Calibration of backpack sprayers and boom sprayers can make the difference between efficient use of herbicides and wastage of chemical and money". Students each demonstrated their ability to understand product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), mix chemical accurately and calculate the rate of output from each unit. Mr Nicholson also said that "Nozzles should be checked and replaced regularly as they wear, to ensure uniform application from a boom sprayer".
On day two, students were assessed on their application of herbicides in the field. Weed control techniques were demonstrated on Johnson Street, a Shire of Manjimup managed reserve. Broadleaf and woody weeds such as Blackberry (Rubus anglocandicans), Periwinkle (Vinca major) and Montpelier broom (Genista monspessulana) were treated with Metsulfuron and an adjuvant, while African Love Grass (Eragrostis curvula) among others, were treated with a low volume of glyphosate.
Training participants said they learned a lot from the course and that they will be able to control weeds, confident that they are following best practice.
Tane Donaldson sizes up a patch
of Vinca major during LPMT training
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Authorised by Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive OfficerContact Sheri Laba, Public Relations Officer
Contact for comment: Paul Omodei, Shire PresidentContact: 0448 810 773