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FAR staff are currently working with staff and members of other industry stakeholder groups on four biosecurity incursions. See below for further information and links.

Samurai wasp EPA application - have your say

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Council has made an application to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to release the Samurai wasp to help combat a BMSB incursion should one be found in New Zealand.

BMSB is one the biggest biosecurity threats facing New Zealand and is frequently intercepted at our borders. It has the potential to cause significant economic damage to the horticulture industry and to home owners. Studies overseas have shown the wasp can destroy over 70 percent of the eggs in a stink bug egg mass. The wasp does not sting and is harmless to humans but is a natural enemy of the stink bug. The female wasp lays her eggs inside stink bug eggs, killing the stink bug in the process.

Control options are very limited, with use of broad-spectrum chemicals being one of the only tools currently available. The samurai wasp presents a targeted and self-sustaining control tool that could be used and provides growers with an option other than increasing insecticide sprays.

Public submissions are now open until 5.00pm, Thursday 24 May 2018. We encourage you to have your say.
You can make a submission here.

For more information see the Q&A information sheet below.

Samurai wasp EPA Q&A information sheet

Red clover casebearer moth

December 2017 update on control of red clover casebearer

The red clover case bearer moth, Coleophora deauratella, has been detected as a new incursion. As of mid February 2017 it has been confirmed in the Auckland area and on two properties in mid-Canterbury. FAR is working with MPI, Federated Farmers and other groups to understand more about this pest, how it might impact on New Zealand red clover crops and how to manage it. Details of what we know to date are outlined below:

  • Red clover case bearer is small (about 8mm long) and is very similar to several other species of clover case bearer moth (Coleophora spp.) that are already well established in New Zealand. The moth's principal host plant is red clover, although it has occasionally been reported from other clover species (including white clover, haresfoot trefoil).
  • Adult moths are expected to be seen in New Zealand from October-December. Eggs are laid by the female moths at the base of florets and the larvae feed on developing seeds in the florets over summer. The moth overwinters as mature larvae typically near the soil surface or in leaf litter. The larvae then pupate and emerge as adults the following spring/summer.
  • Experiences in Canada and the United States suggest that the red clover case bearer is more of a concern for clover seed crops, rather than having an effect on established red clover in pasture.
  • It is not feasible to attempt an eradication of red clover case bearer as it would not be possible to treat, nor survey all possible areas where host material occurs (pastures, roadsides, lawns, and waste areas throughout New Zealand).
  • A number of parasitoids already present in New Zealand will attack Coleophora spp, including some parasitoids that were specifically introduced to control the other Coleophora spp. already established in New Zealand, which are also potential pests of clover.
  • FAR is consulting with Oregon State University as to how best to conduct surveillance on this pest in red clover seed crops for the future.

If you think red clover casebearer is present on your farm, try and catch it, or collect damaged seed heads, and contact FAR.

Images of red clover caserbearer moth, larvae and damage can be found in the publications below:

FAR Crop Action Edition 114, 3 February 2017

MPI Red clover casebearer moth fact sheet

Pea weevil

Pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum) was identified in the Wairarapa in April 2016. This small insect feeds on growing peas and is an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993. As result of the find, a moratorium has been placed on any pea growing, including in home vegetable gardens, in this region until July 2018.

FAR is working with Federated Farmers and growers in the region to help identify alternative crops to replace peas in their cropping systems.

If you see this pest, catch it and call MPI – 0800 80 99 66.

Pea weevil monitoring instructions

MPI pea weevil sample submission form

MPI website for more information

Contact FAR to discuss further


Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) was found in hundreds of fodder beet crops in both the North and South Islands in 2016. The following fodder beet lines have tested positive for velvetleaf contamination, and farmers who grew any of these varieties last year, should check those paddocks for any signs of velvetleaf in the coming season. Plants were already germinating in Waikato in early-October this year, but are unlikely to be be found in Canterbury or further South before Christmas.

  • Kyros DNK -16UB128
  • Bangor DNK-15UB079
  • Bangor DNK- 16UB126
  • Bangor DNK- 16UB114
  • Feldherr DNK-16UB131
  • Troya DNK-16UB112

Velvetleaf management plans
Any farmer who grew one of the contaminated seed lines listed above last year, should complete a velvetleaf management plan for their farm, especially if velvetleaf plants were found on their property, or if they are planning on growing fodder beet in the same paddock this year.

If you think you have velvetleaf on your farm and this was not reported last season:
Contact MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

MPI website for more information

Velvetleaf ute guide

Contact FAR to discuss further

Black grass


In January 2017 black-grass was detected growing at three properties under surveillance in mid-Canterbury. The plants have been removed and will be destroyed.

The location of the plants on the properties suggests that the spread is minimal and confined to limited areas. FAR and Federated Farmers are working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to ensure that an intensive surveillance and monitoring programme of these sites and other risk sites continues.

A surveillance and monitoring programme has been in place at a number of properties since the detection of low levels of black-grass seed in harvested material from two properties in 2015 and 2016. Tracing to date indicates the most likely source of the contamination is a consignment of rye-grass imported in 2007 contaminated with levels of black-grass seed.

These latest finds are not connected to the 2013 spillage of contaminated seed between Methven and Ashburton.

FAR and Federated Farmers encourage farmers to report any suspicious weeds to MPI's Pests and Disease Hotline 0800 80 99 66 or click here for more information from MPI's website.


In 2013 a quantity of black grass (Alopecurus myosuroides) was spilled on the road side between Ashburton and Methven. This spill resulted in MPI initiating an incursion response. Repeated monitoring of 2013 spill route has found no black grass plants to date.

In March 2016 MPI was notified of a black-grass seed detection during routine sampling of rye grass seed destined for export. Three seeds were identified from representative samples taken from a 63-tonne consignment, harvested in Canterbury.

A search of the farm where the rye grass seed was grown has found no black grass plants. All straw and offal from the seedline in question has been tracked and will be destroyed.

Surveillance of the route taken by the seed offal truck continues and operational plans for paddock surveillance have identified “high-risk" properties. Surveillance of these properties is scheduled to start November/December and continue until at least the 2017 harvest.

Contact FAR to discuss further