In Western Australia, where Stan Bellgard is from, they call Phytophthora a ‘biological bulldozer’. Catchy name, isn't it? And Phytophthora agathidicida (or PTA), more widely referred to by New Zealanders as ‘kauri dieback’, is proving equally destructive.
Landcare Research scientists have made an important discovery about the ubiquitous farming practice of letting grass grow under your gumboots. Soil scientist Dr Paul Mudge, in collaboration with DairyNZ, has discovered that the introduction of herbs into ryegrass pastures can increase annual dry matter production by 1.3 tonnes per hectare.
Landcare Research is using sensor technologies, similar to those used on the Mars rover, to rapidly scan soils and estimate soil organic carbon stocks. Visible near-infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy is being used on a custom-made soil scanner by Landcare Research as part of a Global Research Alliance (GRA) project, led by CSIRO, Australia.
A collection of New Zealand fungi could play a vital role in solving one of the world’s most serious health concerns.
The Environment Canterbury biosecurity team remember it (for it was the best name they could conjure) sitting ‘on the smoko room table and not having any idea what it was’.
A high country sheep farmer is leading the fight against a putrid-smelling weed that reduces lucerne yields, wool quality and taints meat.
A parasitic wasp is the latest weapon scientists are investigating in the war against wasps.