Scientists from Scion (Michael Watt, far right) and AgResearch (Shona Lamoureaux and Graeme Bourdôt) collaborating on the development of a potential distribution model
for Chilean needle grass.
Undermining Weeds is a programme of scientific research aimed at improving the management of weeds in the pastoral and forestry sectors. It is funded jointly by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, local authorities and a wide range of industry
organisations from both sectors.
Weeds threaten the sustainable development of these sectors by reducing product yields, product quality and profitability and through environmental effects from their control.
Pastoral weeds in total are estimated to cost the NZ economy $1.2 b per annum ($1,073 m in farm production losses + $167 m in control costs).
Forestry weeds are similarly damaging. Without cost-effective weed control, plantation forestry would not be economically viable. The benefit to the forestry sector from sustaining cost effective weed control is at least $108m/yr.
An additional and far greater benefit will come from protecting the environmental
certification status of plantation forests, thereby ensuring access to high value
markets for certified wood products.
Undermining Weeds is a collaboration of scientists from AgResearch, Scion,
Landcare Research and Plant Protection Chemistry. To ensure it continues meeting industry needs, it is reviewed annually by an Industry Advisory Group.
In this Newsletter we give three examples of projects from the programme in which models have been developed to help foresee and quantify the risk to our primary production posed by weeds that are currently of limited geographic distribution.