The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 1889. THE HESSIAN FLY.
From a paper recently issued by the South Australian Government it would Beem that New Zealand has been, if she be not still, m danger of having her most important markets for cereals closed to her. This arose out of the scare which was caused some eighteen months ago by the discovery of the Hessian fly m some of the northern parts of New Zealand and its almost simultaneous appearance m England. The Commissioner of Crown Lands at Adelaide seems to have shared m the scare — no more dignified term can be applied to the stir that was made — and fearful lest the insect might by any means gain a lodgment m the wheatgrowing parts of his colony, he forthwith sought the advice of the most distinguished entomologists of the present day as to the dangers which might be , feared, and how they might best be guarded against. Professor Riley, the great American authority, deals with, the question as affecting imports from all countries into Australia, and bays that of the principal grain pests of Europe and America the only two ot which the introduction is to be feared are the Hessian fly and an insect known as the joinfo worm. Both these insects hybernate m the straw of most kinds of grain and m the stalks ot certain grasses. The greatest danger of their introduction is by infested straw or hay used for packing merchandise, and it is recommended that these be burned under the inspection of the Customs authorities at the port of arrival. By this means commerce would not be seriously interrupted, as would be the case if the use of straw and hay packing were prohibited. There was little danger of these grain pests being introduced into Australia m New Zealand grass hay, and oat straw might be admitted without *nj dong^i. . r -"v° germs did not lodge m the grain itself, nWno-t bVmt'eWe^nm. °k«? j Webster, of the United States Department of Agriculture, who visited Aus- ! tralia lately, agrees with Professor Riley's conclusions, and also points out that the danger does not lay m bringing the pests from New Zealand alone, but from any other country where they may exist. United action on the part of the Australian governments would be necessary, as it would be useless for one colony to enforce protective measures, while its neighbors permitted the importation of material which might bear the germs of infection. Even with the greatest care adult specimens of the Hessian fly might escape, but prompt measures of eradication as soon as they or their produce were discovered would prevent their getting a foothold m the country. Constant vigilance should be exercised by farmers, and no time lost m the destruction of any insect pests which may appear. The United States took no freed of tb.e importation of the Hessian Fly and other noxious inseots, and ia new paying dearly for the neglect, most of the destructive species being of foreign origin. The fact that rußt, smnt am} other fungi that attack our crops, besides thistles ? cape-weed and other weeds are the fruits pf past paretaßS&egS, should teach jjs to guard i * . ' *»*ther 6Tii» by all means m our I a 8 amßt *•-- . - aatiefaction tp know power. It is some. . J n * * rtfld that the authorities citad havo ."^ twu that New Zealand is the country from which least danger of infection is to be feared, though of course any action which may be taken will not except this colony. No scheme of legislation on the basis of the report is yet suggested, but further enquiries are being made, and no doubt the most will, be made of the danger by those interested m keeping New Zealand produce out of the Australian markets. Meantime let us be careful not to give our neighbors cause for offence by any laxity on our part m dealing with any of the evils, should they make their appearance amongst us.