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Pest control

Pasture bioprotection

Weevil being injected with an egg

Weevil being injected with an egg

Our biocontrol and biosecurity pest management research increases the profitability of pastoral farming by identifying, developing and implementing environmentally safe bioprotection tools and systems for pest and disease control.

It is underpinned by a MSI funded research programme, Ecosystems Bioprotection, led by Lincoln University and complemented by industry investment and collaboration.

The research is carried out within three objectives:

Objective 1 focuses on improving pasture establishment.

Objective 2 investigates ways to extend pasture persistence.

Objective 3 takes bioprotection tools selected from the previous objectives and evaluates them in small scale field trials, develops them into farm-scale bioprotection systems and works with end users to implement them on farms.

Our pasture bioprotection research has greatly reduced the impacts of pests like Argentine stem weevil, lucerne weevil, and clover root weevil, and has created new environmentally sustainable options for managing pests like grass grub and porina moth.


 Key information

  • Insect and mite pests cost NZ producers around one billion dollars a year
  • Other problems like nematodes, slugs, snails, plant diseases and weeds are additional
  • Each pasture plant has a different suite of pests, and there is regional variation in pest complexes
  • On average, each pest species costs NZ producers about $300,000 per year

 Related links

The Bio-Protection Research Centre


Dr Nigel Bell
Pasture establishment
Innovative Farm Systems group
Email Nigel

Dr Craig Phillips
Pasture persistence
Innovative Farm Systems group
Email Craig

Dr Trevor Jackson
On-farm implementation
Innovative Farm Systems group
Email Trevor