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New Zealand weighs grass biocontrol release

The New Zealand Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) has received an application to release the rust fungus, Uromyces pencanus, as a biological control agent against Chilean needlegrass ( Nassella neesiana), in pastures. The application was submitted by Marlborough District Council, representing the National Biological Control Collective. Chilean needlegrass is a perennial grass that can reach 1 m in height in the absence of grazing, the applicant points out. The ERMA is seeking public submissions on the application until May 9th.


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