Farmer response to minirelease strategy for the clover root weevil biocontrol agent


  • P.J. Gerard
  • D.J. Wilson
  • T.M. Eden



The Irish wasp Microctonus aethiopoides was released in 2006 as a biocontrol agent for the clover root weevil Sitona lepidus a serious pest of white clover in New Zealand Following the successful and very rapid establishment of the Irish wasp there was high demand by farmers for the biocontrol Around 2000 minirelease samples were distributed directly to farmers through pastoral industry networks and field days These consisted of ten fieldcollected weevils exposed to the wasp in the laboratory at parasitism rates such that over 99 of samples contained parasitoids A random subsample of 100 recipient dairy farmers was surveyed subsequently by post with 59 responses The minireleases were well received most going to farmers that had previously experienced losses due to the weevil The mini releases were very effective in terms of getting the biocontrol to farms with 92 of insects arriving in good condition and 96 being released on the same day The farmers appeared receptive of the information provided with the samples indicating the project was successful in terms of technology transfer There was good recognition of DairyNZ with 79 showing awareness of the organisations funding enabling the biocontrol research




How to Cite

Gerard, P., Wilson, D. and Eden, T. 2010. Farmer response to minirelease strategy for the clover root weevil biocontrol agent. New Zealand Plant Protection. 63, (Aug. 2010), 283–283. DOI:



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