11 Feb 2010

Clover root weevil warning issued

12:46 pm on 11 February 2010

Southern farmers have been warned not to under-estimate the threat of a pasture pest that's rapidly heading in their direction.

The clover root weevil has been causing serious pasture damage on North Island farms since the 1990s.

It's now well established in Nelson, through much of Canterbury and has lately been found in Otago.

AgResearch's chief scientist, Dr Stephen Goldson, raised his concerns about the pest at the Southern Agricultural Field days at Waimumu, near Gore. He says it's "pretty sneaky".

Dr Goldson says the clover weevil control programme has lost funding because of a decision by farmers to end a wool levy that was providing some support.