Coming up Poultry Shows for 2015 HOW NZ IS TRYING TO BEAT ONE OF THE WORLD’S WORST WEEDS
Check k out the hb best t poultry in New Zealand in the 2015 poultry shows nationwide, including the National Poultry Show in Oamaru this month.
In a world first, New Zealand is using a Peruvian plant disease in an attempt to control lantana, considered one of the world’s 10 worst weeds.
Lantana is primarily a problem in Northland, but its terrible reputation has seen Landcare Research scientists begin the search for biocontrols before it becomes widespread. Their work has found pathogenic fungi stand the best chance of fighting the weed in New Zealand as insects used as biocontrol agents against lantana in Australia are unlikely to cope with New Zealand conditions.
The weed poses a serious threat to NZ’S agricultural industry says Landcare Research scientist Maj Padamsee, as once established it is extremely difficult to control and can easily overrun farmland.
“Lantana has the potential to become extremely problematic. These releases are pre-emptive to make sure it doesn’t get to that point. We’re trying to nip lantana in the bud.
“It’s the first time the lantana blister rust has been used as a biocontrol anywhere in the world, which makes this release really exciting.”
Lantana blister rust attacks the stems, leaf stalks and leaves and the damage it causes can result in systemic infection leading to stem dieback.
Host tests for the plant disease were initially conducted to see if it was a suitable biocontrol to use in Australia, where the weed is a major problem. Tests were carried out by a Uk-based, not-for-profit scientific research organisation. While more testing is required to determine if the disease is safe to release in Australia, tests came back giving it the ok for New Zealand.
Landcare imported lantana infected with the disease in spring last year and began mass-rearing it for release.
To further assist the war on the weed, another plant disease has also recently been released in the Bay of Plenty and Northland. The Brazilian plant disease, called lantana leaf rust ( Prospodium tuberculatum) affects the weed’s leaves.
Both plant diseases can co-exist on lantana and are expected to complement each other by having slightly different climatic requirements, with the blister rust most likely to prefer temperatures in Northland and not do so well in the Bay of Plenty, and the opposite for the leaf rust.
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