Weed Biocontrol Issue 87
In this issue
Horehound Agents Ready for Action
Horehound is predominantly found on hill country farms, where it affects the quality of wool, lowering profit margins. Current costs of horehound to dryland sheep farmers are estimated to be in excess of $6.85 million per annum. Two biocontrol agents were recently sourced from Australia to try to address the weed.
Two Agents Ready to Trim Old Man’s Beard
Approval to release a bud-galling mite (Aceria vitalbae) to attack old man’s beard (Clematis vitalba) was given by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in October 2018. It is hoped that this mite can provide a valuable tool in the long-running battle to reduce the vigour and harmful impacts of this rampant vine.
Tradescantia Terminators off to Boston
A team of seven students from Kerikeri High School have been making a big impression in their Northland community and have recently been awarded first place in the Senior Community Problem Solving Division at the 2018 Future Problem Solving New Zealand National finals. The students are now preparing to attend the Future Problem Solving Program International Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA, in June 2019.
Heather Beetle Gives Natives a Fighting Chance
Scientists and land managers are hailing the success of a biocontrol agent that is finally winning the battle with a central North Island weed, heather (Calluna vulgaris). Recently retired Department of Conservation (DOC) scientist Harry Keys, who managed the project from the DOC side for 20 years, is thrilled to see the progress the beetle has now made against heather.
There are a few things you might want to fit in before winter sets in. We would be very interested to hear about what you find.