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Leave The Nasties Behind This Moving Day: Waikato Regional Council

Leave the nasties behind. That’s the biosecurity message from Waikato Regional Council as moving day fast approaches.

Moving Day occurs in the week leading up to and immediately following 1 June each year. It involves the mass transporting of cows and machinery around the country’s roads as farm contractors relocate themselves and their stock in time for the new season.

“It’s a time of huge biosecurity risk,” said the council’s biosecurity pest plants team leader, Darion Embling. “While there are many really dedicated farmers and contractors who rigorously clean their gear to protect the next property they’re moving to, not everyone is as committed.

“Any form of plant or soil contamination has a real potential of harbouring pests or weeds. Machinery movements in particular pose a persistent high risk in pest spread, with at least 80 pest species known to be typically moved by unclean machinery.”

The recent discovery of the highly invasive velvetleaf on two new properties in the region was a wake up call for the ag sector, Mr Embling said. “It spreads easily through unclean machinery and we are really keen to stop it in its tracks.

“Weed infestations can lead to financial loss for farmers and horticultural producers, and seriously harm our natural environment, so stopping new infestations taking hold is often the most economic strategy.

“The standard to achieve is no visible soil or plant matter which might spread pests or weeds, and this includes on diggers, harvesting equipment, ploughs and undersowers,” Mr Embling said.

“It’s important these biosecurity practices are adopted by all farmers, and that landowners insist only clean machinery enters their farm gate.”

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