Roly poly

Roly poly

Roly poly, also known as prickly saltwort or tumbleweed (Salsola australis R.Br.), is a native species found throughout Australia with the exception of Tasmania.

The dead plants can break off at ground level, forming the iconic ‘tumbleweeds’ seen in movies. Roly poly, along with a range of other species in the Salsola genus, is a prominent weed of agricultural systems internationally.

Like most summer weed species, roly poly utilises soil moisture and nutrients that would otherwise be available to the following crop. The time taken to clear uncontrolled plants may delay seeding. Livestock will graze the young plants.

However, they will not eat the mature plants and are injured by the prickly leaves. This species has tentatively been linked to oxalate poisoning, but most tests indicate that oxalate levels are insufficient to poison sheep. Levels of oxalates and nitrates in roly poly may increase in the presence of nitrogen fertiliser or legume species.

The dead, mobile tumbleweeds can become a significant fire hazard, particularly when too many plants pile up against fences or buildings.

Note that as a native species, this species is not a problem in areas of native vegetation, and plays a valuable role in revegetation of disturbed sites.

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Fact Sheet

Changes to herbicide Mode of Action (MoA) names

The global MoA classification system is based on numerical codes which provides infinite capacity to accommodate new herbicide MoA coming to market, unlike the alphabetical codes currently used in Australia.
Farming is becoming increasingly global. Farmers, agronomists and academics around the world are now, more than ever, sharing and accessing information to assist them to grow crops, while managing sustainability issues such as herbicide resistant weeds. It’s important then that the herbicide MoA classification system utilised in Australia be aligned with the global classification system. This will ensure more efficient farming systems into the future and allow Australian farmers and advisors to access the most up-to-date information relating to managing herbicide resistance.
CropLife Australia is working with key herbicide resistance management experts, advisors and the APVMA to ensure farmers and agronomists are aware of the planned changes.
The numerical classification system should be fully implemented by the end of 2024.
You can find further information by reading the factsheet and visiting the CropLife website here.

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