Germination of Wheel Cactus Seeds – Project
During 2016, TCCG collaborated with an Honours student (Samantha Searle) at Federation University, Ballarat Victoria, whose project studied the conditions required for germination of Wheel Cactus seeds. Samantha studied such variables as temperature, moisture, soil pH and salinity and light exposure. She also studied means of breaking down the hard outer coating of the seeds by comparing manual and mechanical scarification.
The conclusions from Samantha’s results confirmed that Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta) is capable of growing in a wide range of climatic and soil conditions, thus reinforcing what a major threat this species is to the Australian environment.
Click here to read Samantha’s final project Report Fed Uni Project Report 2016
Daconate Vs Glyphosate Trial (April-May 2015)
The aim of the trial was to compare the differences between using the herbicides Glyphosate and Daconate for injection of Wheel Cactus plants. The trial was carried out on property on Back Cairn Curran Road which had a dense infestation with various sized plants. Several duplicate plots were chosen which were easily accessible, near each other and had similar sized and/or number of plants.
- Group M herbicide
- Used diluted 1:3 in water
- Injected 4ml into all lobes of each plant
- Class Z herbicide
- Can only be purchased and used with ACUP
- Land must be clear of stock for 5 weeks
- Cannot be used within 50 metres of water body
- Used undiluted
- Drilled stem of the plant and then injected stem only with 4ml
The variables tested were:
- Time taken to inject plant
- Number of injections required
- Volume of herbicide used
- Cost of herbicide used
- Number of days to death
- Need for follow-up injection
The results indicated that:
- Each injection with Daconate took approx. 3 x longer because a hole was drilled first, but each plant needed approx. 6 x more injections with Glyphosate, hence overall a plant took approx. 2 x longer to inject with Glyphosate
- The cost of Daconate is approx. 2.5 x more than the cost of Glyphosate but each plant used approx. 2 x more volume of Glyphosate, therefore the actual cost of both was very similar.
- The time taken for a plant to die was approx. 3 x longer using Glyphosate and was much more likely to need follow-up injections than when using Daconate.
Summary of TCCG Glyphosate Vs Daconate Trial (April 2015)
(inject each lobe)
(drill hole in stem & inject)
|Approx. Time per Injection
|Mean No. Injections per plant
|Mean Time Injecting per plant
|Cost of Chemical
|Mean Volume Chemical per plant
|Approx. Cost Chemical per plant
|Approx. Time taken to kill plant
||> 54 days
|| 20 days
|Residue of Chemical
Venturer Scouts Project – Different Concentrations of Glyphosate
A group of Venturer Scouts from Castlemaine carried out a trial testing different concentrations of the herbicide glyphosate. They marked out several plots containing approximately the same number and size of Wheel Cactus plants and allocated them to different concentrations, ranging from 0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 33%. The plants in each plot were injected with the appropriate concentration and monitored for the next 6 months. The trial showed very effective treatment using both 25% and 33% glyphosate.