AgPest Alert: 7 April 2020

To all of the essential workers in our primary industries – thank you for your work keeping our country fed and moving.
While the country is on lockdown, pests and weeds certainly aren’t, so AgPest will continue to send alerts twice per month.

Velvetleaf will be flowering now – notice a new weed? Get it identified.

Region: All NZ

Velvetleaf and other weeds will be well into flowering now. If you notice a new weed get it identified. Any new plants that are appearing on your property or in your crops should be identified to a) assist you in managing it in the future, and b) to check that it is not a new incursion that should be dealt with on a wider scale.
Please send a clear photo(s) to AgPest to have it identified.

Inspect young pastures for grass grub and porina

Region: Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, ManawatÅ«, Whanganui, Wellington, Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough, Canterbury, West Coast, Otago, Southland.

In grass grub or porina prone areas, check pastures for damage.
Grass grub damage is indicated initially by loss of clover and subsequently by patches of pasture turning yellow and later becoming soft underfoot. Porina damage initially appears as small (approx 5 cm dia.) areas of bare ground. Both pests should be controlled as early as possible to maximise returns and protect long term pasture production and quality. Although heavy rolling or high stocking rates may provide some level of grass grub control, conventional insecticide (diazinon) may be the only recourse.
It is now generally too late to obtain good control of porina using diflubenzuron, although caterpillars from late February/March flights in the North Island are still susceptible. In most cases, porina control now needs to be by conventional insecticide.

Damage from black beetle larvae showing

Region: Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato.

In the northern North Island, damage from black beetle larvae may be showing. Unfortunately little can be done to prevent this.
Adults are deterred by some endophyte-infected grasses which will reduce egg-laying and larval numbers. See DairyNZ Pasture Renewal Guide.

Watch for and treat clover flea damage

Region: Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato.

In Northern NZ, watch for clover flea damage to clover and treat early if required to maximise effectiveness. See NZNovachem Agrichemical Manual.


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