[20 July/ Radio NZ]

AgResearch and Scion scientists have joined forces with Lincoln University Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit Economists to review published research on the cost of weeds to the pastoral, arable and forestry sectors. AgResearch Principal Scientist Graeme Bourdôt said they cost at least $1.6 billion annually, but it was likely to be several times higher than that. The team estimated $1.3bn in losses for the pastoral sector a year, $18m for the arable sector, and $333m for the forestry sector. Dr Bourdôt said the information received only analysed 10 out of 187 different weeds species, and some of the information was outdated or contained guesswork, meaning the real figures were likely much higher. Dr Bourdôt said the figure also did not consider money spent on weed control which would cost farmers significantly more.