NEW ZEALAND – Efforts are being combined on New Zealand’s north island to address a road side weed which has become a problem on some farms.
Taranaki’s North Western and Southern regions are worst affected by invasive Yellow Bristle Grass after it spread from the north around four years ago, say DairyNZ.
Through work with the NZ Transport Agency, Federated Farmers, AgResearch and road contractors, DairyNZ is raising awareness to the problem.
The group’s message is that all land owners and the community as a whole is best helping out.
Taranaki Regional Council’s environment services manager Steve Ellis said they have been cooperating to halt road spread.
He said: “Roading contractors have done a great job identifying the worst-affected areas so they can be mapped and shared with the public,”
“By teaming up with different organisations we’ve been able to get messages out through multiple networks.”
Dairy farmer Tony Penwarden farms has attended events aimed at educating rural practitioners, contractors and farmers.
He says progress is being made but they’re not on top of it yet.
He said: “The field days and yellow bristle grass guide have been invaluable in increasing awareness and farmers’ ability to identify yellow bristle grass in the early stages.
“These at-risk areas are checked regularly and we’ve found being proactive makes a big difference.
We’ve found paddocks previously in maize are more likely to be affected by yellow bristle grass.
“In maize crops we target-spray using a selective spray. On the roadside we use a glyphosate spray, and on pasture with thick infestations we use Puma S or completely renew pasture.
“We also make sure all hay and maize coming onto the farm is inspected.”
TheCattleSite News Desk
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