News 197 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Underwater weed useful for cattle feed

An underwater mower to tackle pest weeds in lakes and irrigation channels has been developed in Western Australia. The weed is normally dumped on the bank, but it could be a good source for cattle feed.

Kimberley Environmental Solutions is trialling the prototype of the Aquatic Vegetation Groomer. It uses chaff cutter blades attached to a pontoon.

Designer Len Harris says there is great potential to harvest weeds for cattle feed. "They use it in the US around Florida and places like that where they have lakes, and swamps and that, just to clear the weed but all they do is dump it on the bank which is not really an optimum idea," he said. "Nobody around the world as far as we can tell has used it for anything else, so the best option at this stage is for cattle feed.
"Feed around Australia is getting more scarce and more expensive, so this could be a solution for that, Harris concluded."

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