Territory Stories

Weed management plan for gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) : 2010



Weed management plan for gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) : 2010

Other title

Replaced by Weed management plan for Andropogon gayanus (Gamba Grass) 2014


Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport. Natural Resources Division


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Weed management plan




This Weed Management Plan forms part of a strategic approach to gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) management in the NT, with the overall aim being to mitigate the damage caused by gamba grass in relation to the natural environment, property and infrastructure and public health. A comprehensive weed risk management assessment found gamba grass to be a very high risk weed where potential exists for successful management.


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Aim and objectives -- 3. Gamba grass declaration status -- 4. Current distribution -- 5. Management requirements -- 6. Eradication and control methods -- 7. Developing a weed seed spread prevention program -- 8. Tracking progress and judging success -- 9. Support and information for land managers -- Appendix A: Summary of management requirements and related actions – gamba grass in class A/C zone -- Appendix B1: Summary of management requirements and related actions – gamba grass in class B/C zone – small landholdings 20ha or less -- Appendix B2: Summary of management requirements and related actions – gamba grass in class B/C zone – large landholdings of more than 20ha -- Appendix C: Summary of management requirements and related actions – gamba grass in public transport or service corridors -- Appendix D: Suggested gamba grass monitoring report template -- Appendix E: Targets -- List of Figures -- List of Tables




Andropogon gayanus; Control; Gamba grass; Weeds

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



2010 edition


Weed management plan

Now known as

Weed management plan for Andropogon gayanus (Gamba Grass) 2014

Previously known as

Weed management plan for gamba grass (Andropogon gayanus) : draft August 2009


iii, 31 pages : colour illustrations and maps ; 30 cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related materials

Submission to the review of the Weed Management Plan for Andropogon Gayanus (Gamba grass) 2010

Related links

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/265105 [Weed management plan for Andropogon gayanus (Gamba Grass) 2014]; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/300740 [Weed management plan for Gamba Grass (Andropogon gayanus) - August 2018]

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Weed Management Plan for Andropogon gayanus (Gamba Grass) 17 Seed set can be prevented within the buffer zone by: a) chemical means; b) mechanical/physical means; c) controlled burning; or d) grazing (please note that grazing should not be used as the sole means of maintaining a buffer zone as it does not prevent seed set. Grazing must be used in combination with one or more of the other methods of control listed above). 6.5 Fire management Fire plays an important part in pasture and land management in the NT and can also be a very important tool in effective weed management. 6.5.1 Fuel load reduction Gamba grass fuel loads are 2-7 times higher than those of native grasses, resulting in fire intensities 3-8 times higher than normal fires. In addition gamba grass cures later than native grasses, increasing the likelihood that fires will occur in the late dry season. These fires are generally hotter, bigger, more destructive and harder to control than early dry season fires. Fire can be used pre-emptively to decrease the high fuel loads which result from gamba grass, thereby reducing the level of risk posed by destructive wild fires. 6.5.2 Weed control Controlled fire can be used as part of an integrated weed control program to kill young gamba grass seedlings, reduce seed production and to encourage new foliage growth prior to herbicide control. Burning (or slashing) dense infestations prior to herbicide application can reduce herbicide costs, improve herbicide uptake and reduce application time. Burning can also improve access for other control methods. 6.5.3 Pasture management Controlled fire can be used by pastoralists to minimise off-property impacts (wildfire and spread of invasive plants) and rejuvenate unproductive pastures. 6.5.4 When and how to burn Gamba grass fires can be highly destructive and hard to control, so careful planning and a cautious approach to burning are essential. Burning gamba grass in the dry season can be hazardous to other vegetation, wildlife, property, people and livestock. Instead early burning (late wet/early dry season) will produce low intensity cooler fires that are easier to control and less likely to damage native vegetation. Treating gamba grass with herbicide prior to using fire can create the dry matter needed to sustain a fire at this time of year. Well maintained and strategically located fire breaks/access trails can help to contain fires and provide access to control fires. It should be noted that fire breaks may need to be wider than those required for native grass species, if they are to be effective in the management of gamba grass. Back burning involves lighting small fire(s) which burn back towards the fire front of a larger fire. By controlling the available fuel, back burning can assist in controlling the direction and spread of a wildfire.

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