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More Funding For Tropical Grass Webworm

Biosecurity Minister John Luxton today announced a further funding boost of $9000 for the fight against tropical grass webworm in the Northland area.

"The extra funding will assist in the search for chemicals or biotoxins which will be effective in the treatment of the webworm," Mr Luxton said.

This is on top of $20,000 the Government granted earlier in the year for research to monitor webworm populations over the winter. The money will be used to trial the effectiveness of two chemicals already registered in New Zealand to treat other insect pests.

"With summer coming on it is important to find immediate solutions to the webworm problem before numbers have a chance to build up again. This funding will speed up the research process. If the two proposed chemicals are found to be effective, farmers will have two options which are environmentally safe and cheap to apply."

"Tropical grass webworm is believed to have blown in from across the Tasman. It is a fact of life that new incursions will occur from time to time. But our border protection systems are designed to minimise these risks. They are held in high regard internationally and are some of the most effective in the world."

Mr Luxton said that the approach taken to the management of webworm was a blueprint for Government's belief that incursions should be dealt with as a partnership between Government and others with an interest in managing a particular pest.

"It has been very encouraging to see the combined efforts of a number of organisations, including the Regional Council and Ag Research, in the fight against the webworm," Mr Luxton concluded.


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