Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Farmers: be on watch - more Chilean Needle Grass found

MEDIA RELEASE

December 4, 2013

Farmers asked to be on watch after more Chilean Needle Grass found

Farmers and landowners are being asked to keep an eye out for the Chilean Needle Grass (CNG) plant pest which flowers and seeds at this time of year.

The number of affected sites has risen to 14 in recent weeks after plants were found on roadsides near known sites and two plants were found on a property adjoining an affected site.

Environment Canterbury is working to prevent further spreading of the pest, which has the potential to infest an estimated 15 million hectares on the east coasts of the north and south islands.

CNG seeds prolifically and can displace pasture and desirable vegetation leading to reduced crop yield; its seeds catch on passing animals and burrow into the skin (lambs are particularly vulnerable to seeds penetrating their eyes and causing blindness); and it requires changes in farming practices as affected land cannot be used at certain times of the year.

Principal Biosecurity Advisor and manager of Environment Canterbury’s CNG programme, Laurence Smith, says it is critical that the pest is dealt with effectively as further spread would threaten the sustainability of arable and pastoral farming.

Biosecurity officers are actively looking for new CNG sites but, with a lag time between seed spread and establishment, farmers and landowners need to be vigilant and report any suspected sightings as soon as possible.

“Land owners need to take responsibility for farm biosecurity and ensure people visiting their properties follow vehicle and machinery hygiene procedures so spread of Chilean Needle Grass from undetected sites is minimised,” Laurence Smith says.

“It is a challenging task as CNG seeds can easily be spread quickly throughout Canterbury by various pathways including people, stock, vehicles and equipment moving from one property or area to another.

“Environment Canterbury committed more than $150,000 to its CNG work in the last financial year and will spend a similar amount in the 2013/14 financial year. But that won’t be enough on its own and our rural communities need to take an interest and be committed to working with us on this.”

Environment Canterbury has appointed a new co-ordinator, Jenna Taylor, to implement an awareness programme funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund, regional and local authorities, Beef & Lamb New Zealand and Teece Family Vineyards.

A video through the Sustainable Farming Fund project funded by Beef & Lamb New Zealand has been produced to help farmers and landowners identify CNG. It can be viewed on the Environment Canterbury website.

Anyone who thinks they may have sighted CNG should contact Environment Canterbury’s Amberley office on 03 314 8014 or its customer service centre on 0800 EC INFO as soon as possible.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Interest Rates: Wheeler Hikes OCR To 3% On Inflationary Pressures, Eyes Kiwi

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler lifted the official cash rate for the second time in as many months, saying non-tradable inflationary pressures were "becoming apparent" in an economy that’s picking up pace and he's watching the impact of a strong kiwi dollar on import prices. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Equity Crowd Funding Carries Risks, High Failure Rate

Equity crowd funding, which became legal in New Zealand this month, comes with a high risk of failure based on figures showing existing forays into social capital have a success rate of less than 50 percent, one new entrant says. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Migration Rises To 11-Year High In March

The country gained a seasonally adjusted 3,800 net new migrants in March, the most since February 2003, said Statistics New Zealand. A net 400 people left for Australia in March, down from 600 in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures. More>>

ALSO:

Hugh Pavletich: New Zealand’s Bubble Economy Is Vulnerable

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “ 12 Reasons Why New Zealand's Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster ”, seems to have created quite a stir, creating extensive media coverage in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Thursday Market Close: Genesis Debut Sparks Energy Rally

New Zealand stock rose after shares in the partially privatised Genesis Energy soared as much as 18 percent in its debut listing on the NZX, buoying other listed energy companies in the process. Meridian Energy, MightyRiverPower, Contact Energy and TrustPower paced gains. More>>

ALSO:

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news