AgPest Alert: 2 November 2020

Check sunny slopes for Chilean needle grass

Region: All NZ

Chilean needle grass will become evident in pastures in November-December. Keep an eye out for the reddish-purple colour of the seed heads when they first emerge.
Each seed has a 7 cm long awn (bristle-like tail). This grass is most likely to be found in pastures on north/west-facing drought-prone slopes, but may be present in contaminated stock feed/hay.

If you suspect that you have it, please contact your local council biosecurity people for identification and management advice immediately.

Clover root weevil present, extra N may be needed in pastures

Region: All NZ

Clover root weevil will be very obvious in most areas –U shaped notches at the edge of clover leaves show adults are present. The presence of larvae may be indicated by the pasture appearing nitrogen deficient. While control is generally not an option careful management of clover will help maintain pasture quality. Additional nitrogen may need to be applied to pastures and clover should not be overgrazed.

Take Argentine stem weevil into account when establishing crops or pasture

Region: All North Island

Argentine stem weevil is building up in the North Island and will need to be considered in pasture and crop establishment. Insecticide coated seed may be a viable control option and insecticide application can provide temporary relief from this pest and allow seedlings to establish. Argentine stem weevil is a significant threat to seedling grasses, even those infected with endophyte, cereals and maize crops. See DairyNZ Pasture Renewal Guide for a guide to endophyte selection.

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