4 Dec 2017

MPI hopeful pea weevil eradicated in Wairarapa

10:47 pm on 4 December 2017

The Ministry for Primary Industries is confident that no pea weevils will be found in the Wairarapa this season and is hopeful that the pest has been eradicated.

Pea Weevil (Sitona lineatus)

Pea Weevil (Sitona lineatus) Photo: Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic / AnemoneProjectors

Last year the pest was found in pea seeds grown on eight different Wairarapa properties and also in three seed storage facilities in the region.

The weevil larvae feeds on growing pea pods and has long-term implications for pea production in New Zealand.

In July 2016 the ministry put a two-year ban on growing peas in crops and gardens so that it could plant trap crops and eradicate the pest.

The ministry's incident controller for the pea weevil incursion John Appleby said the response was going to plan.

"The results that we've received from this round of surveillance and trap cropping makes us confident that we have managed to certainly bring the pest under control...

"It's looking likely that we've managed to eradicate the only food source for pea weevils, the trap crop. And so if we can attract any remaining pea weevil to the trap crop and destroy them then that will be the end of the life cycle of the pea weevil."

The ban was still in place and Mr Appleby said the ministry was visiting farmers markets in the Wairarapa to make sure no one was growing peas.

The ministry had provided ex gratia payments and compensation to growers who had been affected.

"To date we've received approximately 35 claims from individuals, approximately 17 of these have been paid out in full or in part."

Mr Appleby said the ministry still did not know how the pea weevil got in to New Zealand.

"We may never know in this case unfortunately."