[28 February/Radio NZ]

No pea weevils have been detected in traps throughout the Wairarapa this season, which could note the end of a two-year ban on growing peas. The pest was first discovered in the region in 2016 and there has been a ban on growing peas since, including extra time to ensure the pea weevil has been eradicated. Pea weevil larvae feed on young peas and can ruin crops along with threatening valuable fresh and seed pea exports. In late 2017, 15 pea weevils were found in two sites east of Masterton with the rest of the region found clear. Recent trapping work during the 2018/2019 pea growing season has resulted in no pea weevils found near the Wairarapa. Karen Williams, Federated Farmers Arable Chair stated this was great news for those farmers who took a financial hit in order to eradicate the pest from New Zealand. A governance group which is handling the response will meet at the end of March and discuss how much longer the growing ban needs to remain in place. Figures from before the ban from the Ministry for Primary Industries show before the ban, that the Wairarapa accounted for about 10 percent of New Zealand’s pea production.