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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:
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 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).
Farmers are encouraged to report suspected sightings of velvetleaf to our biosecurity pest plants team on 0800 BIOSEC (0800 246 732).
This will allow our staff to assess the property and then work together on a plan if we confirm the presence of velvetleaf. 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.
Kyros and Bangor varieties of fodder beet seed imported in 2016 were found to be infested with velvetleaf seed. Farmers using these seed varieties 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.
Any growers who still hold unsown Kyros or Bangor seed should return it to the retail outlet where it was purchased.
Landowners requiring help to deal with the stress of the velvetleaf incursion are encouraged to call the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.