Wairarapa peas harvested for first time in more than four years

A ban was placed on growing peas in the region in 2016.
A ban was placed on growing peas in the region in 2016. Photo credit: File / Getty

Wairarapa peas are being harvested for the first time in over four years.

A ban was placed on growing peas in the region in 2016, after the discovery of pea weevil.

Production was allowed to resume last year after the Ministry for Primary Industries announced the insect pest had been successfully eradicated.

The pest's larvae feed on young peas, ruining crops and threatening valuable fresh and seed pea exports.

Before the outbreak Wairarapa was responsible for about 10 percent of the annual pea crop.

Federated Farmers vice president and Carterton arable farmer Karen Williams said early indications were yields were looking good at about 3-5 tonnes to the hectare.

"When the pea weevil was first discovered and the regional ban was put in place, we didn't know when and if we would be growing it again," she said.

"There was a lot of hard work done by the community, industry and MPI together to eradicate it so it was pretty exciting to see it growing in the paddock."

The ban on growing peas wasn't just for farmers, with gardeners in the region prohibited from using pea straw on their plots.

"Everyone had to go without for the best part of four years," Williams said.

"It is a relief we can grow it again."


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