14 Feb 2014

Farmers taking up weevil killer

1:12 pm on 14 February 2014

A pasture pest has been dealt a blow in Southland if the number of farmers taking advantage of a bio-control solution to kill the clover root weevil, is anything to go by.

About 20 farmers turned up at a field day on a Mataura dairy farm this week, to catch weevils infested with parasitic wasps, to establish them on their infected properties.

The wasp lays an egg inside a female weevil, causing it to become infertile, and and killing it.

Nearly 2500 of the parasitised weevils were first released at Gore District Councillor Cliff Bolger's property in 2010, where the pest is no longer destroying clover.

Southland Regional Council senior biosecurity officer Randall Milne said there will be other weevil harvest days for farmers who missed out.

The parasitised weevils were also given to farmers for free at Southern Field Days near Gore this week.

One hundred small containers, each with about 10 infested weevils, were given to farmers, with supply quickly running out and further stocks having to be brought in.

Mr Milne said the future of the weevil is limited, using this solution. Over 100 farmers are already on a collection list for upcoming weevil solution planned collection days.