Prevention the essential key

Infestation of red-headed cockchafers (above) to pasture can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to farmers.

Pests. With grass the main food source for cattle across Circular Head, deterrence of destructive insects is vital to farmers wanting to protect their livelihood.

Devonport-based agronomist Jason Lynch, who has spent 15 years in Smithton working in surrounding areas, is hoping to spread the word to local farmers about the dangers of common pests through a series of upcoming Cradle Coast National Resource Management workshops.

Mr Lynch says the corbie grub and red or black-headed cockchafers, relatively common in Circular Head, can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to property if left unchecked.

“They’re always there, but when they reach damaging levels they can completely wipe things out,” he said.

“Most people don’t take notice of it until they say ‘where has my grass gone?’ – they only see the [final] damage.”

He described seeing the destruction first-hand, citing a farm in Irishtown where pasture was largely wiped out due to an infestation of red-headed cockchafers in the early 2000s.

Lynch said the issue was widespread, from red soil farms in locations such as Forest and Mawbanna, to the sandy soil areas of Woolnorth and Montagu.

“The idea behind the course is to give producers knowledge of what they can do to stop pests from becoming extreme problems,” he said.

“If they know what they are looking for . . . prevention is better than treatment.”

The first workshop is scheduled for May 22 in Smithton. For more information on the upcoming workshops, contact Jason Lynch on 0459 031 311.

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