Velvetleaf is in the Waikato region. It is one of the world's worst cropping weeds and has spread to properties in the Waikato via:
Landowners and farm contractors need to be vigilant about ensuring machinery is clean when entering and leaving a property, and checking any suspect maize silage and crops. Download Keep it clean: Machinery hygiene guidelines and logbook (PDF).
People finding suspect velvetleaf should:
There are strict protocols to assist with the safe removal of velvetleaf.
If seed heads have not formed:
If seed heads are present on the plant:
If seed heads have blackened:
Contact Waikato Regional Council pest plant staff on 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732) for advice on disposal. Do not bury bags of velvetleaf on farm.
Farmers who have planted the Kyros and Bangor varieties of imported fodder beet seed are advised to take particular care to look out for the weed in their crop. It is very likely some lines of Kyros and Bangor were contaminated with the velvetleaf seed.
As a precautionary measure, Ministry for Primary Industries has directed grain and seed retailers who have sold the Kyros and Bangor fodder beet seed to hold any remaining seed in stock and to instruct buyers of the seed to return any unsown product.
Any growers who still hold unsown Kyros or Bangor seed should return it to the retail outlet where it was purchased.
Velvetleaf is one of the world’s most invasive pest plants, damaging arable crops by competing with them for nutrients, space and water. It is an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act and, as such, entry to New Zealand is prohibited.
More information is at: www.mpi.govt.nz/velvetleaf(external link).
Landowners requiring help to deal with the stress of the velvetleaf incursion are encouraged to call the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.