PRICKLY PEAR [Type of Cacti]
Favorite thing: Well, Captain Arthur Phillip has a lot to answer for, as he was the person who brought the first plants of prickly pear species into Australia on the First Fleet.
He obtained the cochineal infested plants from Brazil on his way to establish the first white settlement at Botany Bay. He was using it as a dye for the soldlier's Red Coat fabric.
PRICKLY PEAR HAS GONE DOWN IN HISTORY AS ONE OF THE MOST INVASIVE WEEDS EVER IMPORTED INTO AUSTRALIA.
Well, little did he know, that after the Farmers had planted it in rows for their stock, that in the following years, it would multiply quickly, take over 60,000,000 acres of land, and make life so difficult for "the man on the land," that they would give up their farms, and leave as broken men.
The Prickly pear was the great destroyer of lands, hopes and a destroyer of families.
In 1924, the 'Bug Farm' at Chinchilla brought in 3000 Cactoblastis eggs from Buenos Aires, they turned into Cactoblastis insects.
These Insects were released at Chinchilla, success was great, with the pear being completely destroyed.
The Cactoblastis cactorum insect was the most powerful of all controls ever placed into effect against the plague of prickly pear.
Located 10 km east of Chinchilla on the Warrego Highway is the Boonargo Cactoblastis Hall  which was built by the local farmers and dedicated to the insect which had managed to eradicate the prickly pear.
Driving around this area, we did not see many plants left, the few that were, were looking pretty sick. Thankgoodness, that they found this Insect before the Prickly Pear crippled Australian farms for good!
The fruit of the pear is still highly prized for jam-making.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: Travelling along the Warrego Highway to Chinchilla, expect to see big areas of the flat plains being farmed with Cotton.
Cotton production in this area has been steadily growing, with the majority being grown along the Condamine River and on the Brigalow floodplain.
Type of farming is dryland and irrigated cotton, with the dryland farming increasing.
Raw cotton is transported to the Dalby gins for further processing.
In June, harvesting was completed, so come earlier if you wish to see the harvest in full swing.
In the paddocks was the equipment used to make the bales of Cotton, and there were plenty of them waiting in the paddocks to be taken to the "Gins."
- Road Trip