New plot to banish grass grub

The Clutha Agricultural Development Board has started working with AgResearch scientist Colin Ferguson on demonstrating to farmers the most up-to-date technologies to manage grass grubs on pastoral land.

Six farmers from across the Clutha district have volunteered to have demonstration plots on their farms for the Sustainable Farming Fund project.

They were looking for last season's grass grub damage of their pastures and making notes to inform the coming season's management methods.

"Farmers know it's no good waiting till the grub damage appears to get the best management in place, but they struggle to investigate and prepare at the appropriate times.

"The annual management process, which involves an understanding of the grass grub life cycle, is what Colin is going to help farmers with," the board's projects manager, Malcolm Deverson, said.

There had been indications insecticides that were often used to spray the grubs might not be available to farmers in the future.

AgResearch was keen to tell farmers about the new technologies they had been developing.

The methods did not involve harmful chemicals or mean costly regrassing, he said.

The board was keen to show farmers the new ideas and there would be short meetings at several of the demonstration farms next month, Mr Deverson said.