Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) has been found in the South Island - in North Canterbury and Central Otago fodder beet crops. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating how it got there and how widespread it is. To date, it has only been found in fodder beet crops. This South Island arrival appears to be recent. MPI is working with Environment Canterbury and other partner organisations to manage the situation. Three sites have been identified in North Canterbury.
Velvetleaf is one of the world's worst cropping weeds, affecting many arable crops by competing for nutrients, space, and water. It is an Unwanted Organism in New Zealand.
If you find this pest please call the MPI free hotline – 0800 80 99 66 immediatelyPlease photograph the plant and mark its location so it can be found again.For the latest UPI updates and identification information go to: MPI Velvet leaf
The ongoing threat of introduction of new plant and animal pests requires vigilance, and co-ordination with communities and government agencies. Climate change may also contribute to the introduction of new pests, as a result of warmer temperatures.
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (439 kB)
Chilean needle grass is a plant pest which seeds prolifically. It is bad for the land, with affected areas unable to be used at certain times of the year; and bad for stock, which can become infected by seeds catching and burrowing into their skin. Find out more by watching this video.
Rabbits are still an issue to land production in some areas. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (myxomatosis) is becoming gradually less effective in controlling rabbits, so a broader range of control methods is required to keep rabbit numbers down to acceptable levels. Continued effort is also required to control wallabies within the wallaby containment area. Ongoing effort is also required to eradicate a small residual rook population.
Containing the spread of plant pests such as gorse and broom, and reducing infestations of nassella tussock, requires ongoing effort to ensure that land is not lost from production. Ongoing effort is required to eliminate plants identified in the total control plant pest programme.
Protection of indigenous biodiversity requires ongoing management to limit the impact of animal pests and the spread of specific plant pests such as wilding conifers, boneseed, old man’s beard and wild thyme.
Pests, including wilding conifers, boneseed, possums and feral goats, threaten biodiversity values. Land and water management practices can also impact on biodiversity values. Both can result in loss of species and habitat, which can be difficult to reverse. Appropriate management to limit these impacts is often necessary.
In areas where the bovine Tb control programme has been successful, national level funding will cease. This means communities will need to consider how to maintain pests at low levels and ensure benefits to biodiversity are not lost. Following the shift to greater Animal Health Board control of the Canterbury portion of the national programme, ratepayers have considered whether it is still appropriate for Environment Canterbury to continue collecting targeted rates for bovine Tb to contribute the local share to the national programme. A decision on this has been deferred until the outcome of the National Pest Management Strategy, due in 2009, is known.
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