Pea weevil eradication

(Photo) Image kindly supplied by Wairarapa Times-Age.

Working together achieves pea weevil eradication

There was jubilation in the Wairarapa last month at a morning tea to mark the successful eradication of the pea weevil, which threatened the country’s $130 million pea industry when first detected in early 2016. After an almost four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw across the region, commercial and home gardeners are eager to be able to harvest green peas again this summer. The high level of awareness and support from industry and the Wairarapa community was the essential factor that achieved eradication success – believed to be a world first. For extra assurance, Biosecurity New Zealand will check some commercial crops in the area of the most recent detection for one further season.

Among those who attended the morning tea was: Ivan Lawrie (Foundation for Arable Research General Manager – Business Operations), Geoff Copps (Senior Rural Consultant who was commissioned by FAR to develop an alternate cropping strategy for Wairarapa pea growers), Karen Williams (Federated Farmers Wairarapa Arable Chairperson and grower representative on the Pea Weevil Governance Group), Dave Voice (Biosecurity New Zealand Principal Scientist), Richard Kershaw (south Wairarapa crop and seed grower and Stakeholder Liaison Group member), Cassie Callard (Biosecurity New Zealand Response Manager), and Emmy Pearless (AsureQuality Programme & Planning Coordinator – Biosecurity).