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Nassella tussock control – get on to it early

May 19, 2014
MEDIA RELEASE

Nassella tussock control – get on to it early

A dwindling pool of contractors controlling the invasive Nassella tussock is causing concern for landowners and Environment Canterbury.

Farmers whose properties have the pest are urged to plan ahead and book contractors early to avoid a spring bottleneck. A significant number of landowners engage contractors to control Nassella tussock each year, especially in North Canterbury. Environment Canterbury Commissioner David Bedford says landowners should consider moving Nassella tussock control operations to autumn or winter. “This helps spread the load for contractors and landowners who face their busiest time on the farm in spring,” Mr Bedford said.

Canterbury’s Regional Pest Management Strategy requires land occupiers to eliminate Nassella tussock plants annually to prevent seeding.

Nassella tussock can currently be found on more than 1300 properties. Most land occupiers must complete control work by 30 September with a smaller number having until the end of October.

Nassella tussock has the potential to spread to about half the Canterbury region if controls are not maintained, causing loss of pasture production and increased control costs.

“Farmers must ensure Nassella tussock plants are controlled early to prevent seeding in November and a potential economic impact on the farming community in future years,” Mr Bedford said.
“After 75 years of hard work to reduce the density of Nassella tussock and bring plant numbers down to a manageable level, it is important to build on this investment by organising the control programme in good time.”

For information on Nassella tussock and other pests, go to www.ecan.govt.nz/pests.

For a list of contractors, contact Environment Canterbury Customer Services on 0800 324 636 (0800 EC INFO).

ENDS

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