11 Jun 2011

Pasture pest research 'needs updating'

11:03 am on 11 June 2011

The Waikato Black Beetle Action Group hopes to use government funding to bring research on the black beetle up to date with modern grass varieties.

The group, along with AgResearch, has been given $500,000 over three years from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry's Sustainable Farming Fund.

Black beetle larvae destroy pasture by eating grass roots over summer.

Taupiri dairy farmer Martin Henton, who is part of the action group, says the beetle is having a bigger impact on new pasture varieties.

He says a beetle infestation can take out almost all the grass in a paddock over a couple of years.

Mr Henton estimates he lost $100,000 in the year his property was worst affected.