Monitoring Injection Technique Efficiency
During 2013 and 2014, the Tarrangower Cactus Control Group carried out a monitoring and evaluation program. The aim was to assess the effectiveness of the glyphosate injecting technique used by the volunteers at our regular monthly field days. Glyphosate diluted at 1:3 in water and 2-4ml injected into lobes was used on each field day.
A Field Day Record Sheet was completed recording details of weather, terrain, cactus growth patterns and dispersion. A section of the site that was representative of the whole was also chosen and pegged out, which became the monitoring plot. The total number of wheel cactus plants within the monitoring plot was recorded, plus a count of the total number of treated cactus within the plot.
Initially the kill rate at each site was determined each month for 3 months, recording the number of plants unaffected by injection with glyphosate, the number damaged, dead and re-growing. However it was later decided that a 3 month period was not long enough to properly determine the kill rate, so the follow-up counts were changed to 1, 3 and 6 months after injection. The plots were also photographed at each time point.
Conclusions from this program were:
A Student Feedback Questionnaire has also been developed for use with students groups. It explores their knowledge of cactus and control methods prior to the field day, what they learned from the field experience, what aspects they liked the most and the least about the experience and whether they would come again and if they would recommend such field days to other students.