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


Sniffing Out Velvetleaf as Summer Signals Emergence of Pests

Sniffing Out Velvetleaf as Summer Signals Emergence of Pest Plants

The arrival of warm, humid days means velvetleaf and other nasty weeds will be starting to appear on farms, prompting a plea for landowners and rural contractors to be on the lookout for pest plants.

Helping to sniff out velvetleaf in the Waikato region last month was Rusty and his handler John Taylor. The Southland-based pair visited 12 high risk farms, finding plants sprouting on 8 of them. They’ll be returning to carry out further surveillance work in the Waikato in late January and early February ahead of the harvest.

Waikato Regional Council’s biosecurity pest plants team leader Darion Embling said the wet winter and spring had delayed planting by farmers, but crops were now growing and it was the right time to be looking out for pest plants and acting to remove them.

“Pre-emergence spraying has been carried out by most farmers, but we’re getting reports from those which have previously had confirmed velvetleaf infestations that seedlings are pushing through.

“This is a critical time for control of pest plants, and in particular velvetleaf, with hand-pulling seedlings and post-emergence spraying essential to get on top of them,” Mr Embling said.

He added: “Landowners and rural contractors should be looking around gateways and the first 3-4 rows of crops for signs of velvetleaf. And if they spot this plant, they need to notify us for advice to avoid crop loss.”

Seedlings are vigorous, with plants left untouched growing rapidly in the first few weeks after germination. Its leaves are heart-shaped and velvety to the touch, and have a distinctive smell when crushed.

Velvetleaf grows up to 2.5 metres tall and has buttery-yellow flowers as it matures from spring through to autumn.

This aggressive cropping weed is one of the world’s worst. It damages crops by competing with them for nutrients, space and water, and its seeds can persist on farms for decades, even surviving digestion and silage processes.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader etc. etc. etc.

As usual, the benefit – or otherwise – of our military presence to the people on the receiving end has barely had a look in. More>>


Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>


Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>


NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Ardern Pep Talk

The intolerance being shown as the coalition process unfolds in New Zealand betrays our depressing appetite for a tidily totalitarian style of government where everyone is expected to march in lockstep. More>>


Last Two: All Charter Schools To Join State System

The decisions on Tūranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne and Waatea School in Auckland mean that all 12 charter schools that applied to become designated character or state integrated schools have now been approved. More>>





InfoPages News Channels