South Waikato News - - RURAL DELIVERY -

The South African black bee­tle, which ar­rived early last cen­tury, is caus­ing in­creas­ing dam­age to north­ern North Is­land pas­tures. A string of very dry sum­mers and au­tumns over the last three years has contributed to higher black bee­tle num­bers es­pe­cially on lighter soil types such as ash and peat. As many as 95 black bee­tles a square me­tre have been seen. Thirty or more is typ­i­cal, but any more than 20 is a con­cern.

FARM DE­STROYER: The Black Bee­tle is bring­ing dairy farm­ers to their knees.

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