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NZ on high alert for stink bug invasion

NZ on high alert for stink bug invasion

Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.

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Ian Proudfoot

Global Head of Agribusiness, Partner - Audit

KPMG in New Zealand

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[16 February, Aotearoa Science Agency, Stuff NZ]

New Zealand has been placed on high alert for the invasion of brown marmorated stink bugs after European farmers have reported devastation of their crops by the bug, with many farmers considering walking off their land for good. It is regarded as the greatest biosecurity risk for our country. One country that has been particularly impacted is Italy, with fruit crop damage exceeding $675 million. New Zealand’s mixed cropping systems are similar to Italy, so our scientists have been working in collaboration to help develop new methods for monitoring and controlling the stink bugs. The bug originates from Asia, where predators such as the samurai wasp keep their number in check. If a stink bug invasion were to occur in New Zealand, the wasp has approval for release. Stinkbugs go into a hibernation mode where they seek refuge in houses or commercial buildings, which is dangerous as they could reach New Zealand during this period, such as in 2018, when 26 live stinkbugs were found in a box of shoes arriving from Italy.

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