Tilba farmer Ron Snape is asking council to help him get weed-destroying aphids studied.
Mr Snape told councillors he had an obligation to fellow farmers –not just in the region, but across the state – to look into the potential biological control of fireweed, at council chambers on Tuesday, September 26.
He told council aphids killed 100 per cent of fireweed in areas of his property.
“The aphids are decimating the fireweed,” Mr Snape said.
Mr Snape, who has worked the land for 50 years, said he was unhappy with how the potential for the aphid as a biological control had been dismissed by experts.
Councillor Rob Pollock said he had heard an interview with one expert.
“That interview was dismissive,” Cr Pollock said.
Cr Pollock asked council to take an active role in getting the bugs investigated.
“Every now and then you need to kick down a few doors. It certainly behooves us to examine the opportunity,” Cr Pollock said.
Fireweed is an agricultural pest in the shire and across the state.
Shire mayor Liz Innes said the issue had “a massive impact locally”.
Mr Snape said the aphid had not been identified.
“We don’t know if it is introduced or native,” Mr Snape said.
“We have a moral obligation to look a this.”
However, time might be running out.
“If we lose the aphid over the summer, as the fireweed dies down, we may be losing a very important biological agent,” Mr Snape said.
Councillor James Thompson also farms sheep on 1400 acres and said there was a need to know more about the insect.
“We should find out if the bugs will survive the off season and come back when the fireweed regrows.”
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