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Wairarapa pea production ban extended

The Pea Weevil Governance Group announced the continuance of the ban in the Wairarapa region

At a meeting in Masterton on Tuesday, 24 April, the Pea Weevil Governance Group announced the continuance of the pea production to Wairarapa growers. Agreeing with the group’s decision, Wairarapa Federated Farmers Arable chairperson Karen Williams says that extending the ban is the best chance to ensure pea weevil’s complete eradication in the district.

Pea

“After the 12 months, we can then review whether a continued total ban, partial restrictions, or other measures will be the best option going forward, based on what the trap crops show us.

“This announcement at least gives growers some certainty around making plans for the coming season.”

The pea production ban was placed in July 2016 after the discovery of pea weevil in a Masterton-based store. While nationwide surveys have not found pea weevil anywhere else in the country in the past two years, trap crops in the Wairarapa region caught 1735 weevils in the first year of the ban and 15 in the second year.

Peas were a major crop in the Wairarapa region for decades, and although growers have been trialling other crops such as wheat and barley, none have been commercially successful as the pea crops.

“If there are any seed companies keen to grow some alternative crops in the Wairarapa, and look outside the traditional focus on Canterbury, that would be a most welcome approach,” Karen says.

She also added that there were no alterations to the Cabinet minutes approving ex gratia payments to eligible growers unable to plant peas.

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