International boost for weed bio-control

Thursday, 01 March, 2001

Australian and New Zealand scientists are joining forces to use insects in the fight against the billion dollar weed problem. New Zealand's Ms Lynley Hayes will be introducing to Australian land managers a technology transfer program that has had wide success in her country.

"The New Zealand program is recognised internationally for being able to make available a wide range of insects as biological control agents where they are needed as quickly and efficiently as possible", says Dr Richard Groves, Weeds CRC Program leader for Environmental Weeds.

Weeds cost Australians more than $3 billion every year. Biological control is an important area of research into weed control. The Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management Systems (Weeds CRC), in collaboration with CSIRO Entomology, has a major stake in the redistribution of biological control agents.

"By working closely with the land managers to ensure they have all the information they require, Ms Hayes can be more successful at establishing the insect agents and getting their numbers increased sufficiently to ensure they get on with suppressing the weed as soon as possible", says Dr Groves.

Dr Groves will be spending time at CSIRO laboratories in Canberra and Perth, and visiting the Weeds CRC office in Adelaide and the Keith Turnbull Research Institute in Frankston, Victoria.

Item provided courtesy of Science Industry

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