Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Beetle agents take over farm

Beetle agents take over farm

Green thistle beetles released onto a Pohangina Valley farm in 2008 as a way of controlling thistles have successfully spread themselves over the area.

The beetle Cassida rubiginosa originates from Europe and North Africa and was brought to New Zealand in 2006 by Landcare Research as a weapon against Californian thistles, a nasty pest that can cover productive land if not controlled.

Horizons Regional Council environmental management officer Neil Gallagher says the beetles were made available for distribution in 2008 as an attempt to control thistles in the Horizons Region.

“Gay Bakker approached me in early 2008 to discuss weed control options for her 278 acre farm in Pohangina,” says Mr Gallagher.

“After learning about the beetles and coming to grips with the long-term commitment required for bio-control agents to work, Gay received 120 adult beetles. She then placed the beetles in a temporary stock exclusion area with plenty of thistles to allow the beetles to establish themselves.”

Green thistle beetle adults eat holes in the leaves of thistle plants but its their larvae that do the most damage by consuming large amounts of the plants above ground if they are present in sufficient numbers.

“Every year since 2008 I’ve gone back to Gay’s farm to check if the beetles have survived and if they were multiplying,” says Mr Gallagher.

“In 2012 the beetles had multiplied sufficiently for 51 adults to be moved a distance away to another location on the farm. However this year’s inspection revealed the beetles had moved themselves to all four corners of the property which is extremely exciting.

“While it’s still too early to notice any dramatic impact on the thistle population, studies in the United States suggest above ground biomass can be reduced by 88 per cent due to the beetles. What is noticeable at Gay’s farm is the absence of thistles at the original release site.”

Horizons yearly inspections will continue and it’s hoped Gay’s beetle care strategies can be replicated on other farms where the beetles are released. For more information regarding bio-control agents please contact Neil Gallagher on free phone 0508 800 800.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

The Kids: OECD Report Shows Huge Impact Of Poverty On Education

A new report from the OECD has again highlighted the negative effects of poverty, showing that disadvantaged children in New Zealand are more than six times more likely to underachieve in maths than children from wealthier homes. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific: NZ Pledges $500,000 To Help Address Zika

“With the Zika virus now confirmed in a number of Pacific countries, New Zealand is committed to helping limit the impact and spread of the virus in the region,” says Mr McCully. “New Zealand will provide $250,000 as a contribution to the WHO to implement the Pacific Zika Action Plan, and a further $250,000 to enable countries in the region to respond rapidly if required." More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Police Commissioner 'Doesn’t Get Force Needs'

The Police Commissioner has let down the public and his own force by insisting the police have what they need despite it taking a year to solve a burglary and overwhelming number of officers saying they are under-resourced, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Pressure To Expand Our Role In Iraq

Foreign news services are being more forthcoming about what the “next 12 months” will entail – essentially, the defence ministers will be under US pressure to increase their “training” role preparatory to an assault on the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Restarts: Prime Minister’s Statement

Our policy agenda and legislative programme will reflect the Government’s four priorities: • to responsibly manage the Government’s finances • to build a more competitive and productive economy • to deliver better public services to New Zealanders, an • to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

NZEI Survey Report: Special Needs Students Missing Out

The survey revealed that around 16 percent of students were on schools’ special needs registers, but nearly 90 percent of schools’ special needs coordinators did not believe there was adequate support for students and their learning... More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Waitangi Tribunal On Ture Whenua Legislation

Labour on Proposed changes to Maori land rules: “To have Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson dismiss findings as ‘bizarre’ is totally disingenuous and disrespectful. What’s bizarre is Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell stubbornly pushing through this Bill before the Waitangi Tribunal has even completed its report..." More>>

ALSO:

Spy Update: Appointment Of GCSB Acting Director

GCSB Chief Legal Advisor Lisa Fong will become the Acting Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) from 15 February 2016, Minister Responsible for the GCSB Christopher Finlayson announced today. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news