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By Charles Merfield

After the appeal in the last issue of the FFC Bulletin for farmers and growers to report sightings of white tipped Californian thistles, I’m pleased to say that we have had several sightings.

The FFC is now working with AgResearch scientists, who are really excited by the findings as are the Canadian researchers.  The AgResearch scientists are in the process of culturing and identifying the causal agent to confirm if white tip is indeed present in NZ on Californian thistle and/or if the disease is caused by a new pathogen.

Everyone involved is however still keen for more sightings, so we can get a better idea of the spread of the disease and if it is the same fungus as the Canadian bio-herbicide, or if there are others out there.  So if you have seen white tipped thistles please do still get in contact, either email [email protected] ideally including photos and the location or call 021 0231 8901.

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