Possums, rabbits, hares, wild cats, magpies, stoats, ferrets - pests are a regular battle for Southland farmers.

Learning tips and tricks on pest management was the theme of the Pourakino Catchment Group's field day last week.

Chairman Dave Diprose said the field day, which was held at Kells' sheep and beef farm, was about working on keeping pest numbers down in the catchment.

''It's always a risk putting plants in that you don't have the pests chewing them off,'' he said.

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''You can't have one without the other.''

Environment Southland senior biosecurity officer Dave Burgess showed the group different traps for different pests.

There were also a lot of conversations about work already ongoing in the catchment with pest management.

Mr Diprose said the group would work with Environment Southland, as well as the Department of Conservation, on a strategy for the catchment.

''Everybody needs to be helping each other out.''

One of the main take-home messages was that now was the best time to get out trapping or shooting while the population was low, he said.

One rabbit shot now is equivalent to shooting 10 in the summer.

''We need to be doing that now,'' Mr Diprose said.

As part of the group's next move, they would be holding a pest shoot for the first two weeks of this month.

While planting season was fast approaching, it was a timely reminder for all farmers to get out there and take part in some pest management.

Southern Rural Life