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Published: 2015-03-30 00:00:00

Farmers are being urged to play their part in stopping the spread of dangerous weeds in the Waikato region.

This time of year is when plants used for stock feed are harvested and sold for use during winter. However, there is always a risk that such feed can contain weeds which can be spread along with the feed.

Waikato Regional Council’s pest plants team leader Wendy Mead said farmers can do their bit to help prevent weed spread by asking any local feed sellers to guarantee feed such as hay and silage are weed free.

Farmers should also be alert to the risk of weed spread when buying feed from neighbouring regions.

“Some serious crop weeds of very limited distribution in the Waikato, such as Noogoora bur, are known to be more common in some neighbouring regions,” Mrs Mead said.

“Don’t be shy asking suppliers about any past weed problems with their feed and if feed can be inspected prior to purchase.

“If feed comes from overseas, only buy from reputable dealers and again ask for a guarantee that it is weed free.

“Keep records of where feed comes from and where it is fed out in case any weeds develop later.”

Mrs Mead said the council was happy to provide advice on what to look for during feed inspections and how to deal with any issues or problems that arose.

Farmers can call 0800 BIOSEC (246732) to contact the pest plants team.

Key pest plants that are spread through stock feed are Noorgoora Burr, alligator weed and velvet leaf.