I decided to take a mathematical approach to this question.
Crop loss and control costs for weeds in New Zealand are estimated to be about $1.2 billion per year. Add another $1.3 billion for biodiversity losses, and the total bill for weeds comes to $2.5 billion per year.
So what should I be spending on weeds? Let’s do a few calculations.
New Zealand has a land area of 268,021 km2. That’s 26,802,100 hectares.
Our property is 0.6 hectares.
So our property is 0.00000002 of the land area of New Zealand.
Multiplying New Zealand’s total weed bill of $2.5 billion by 0.00000002, I should be paying about $50 a year to control weeds on my property.
My husband set the price of a 20 litre bucket of weeds at $2 (and I agreed to pay triple price for each bucket of pure thistles—hazard pay and all). That $50 is only going to pay for 25 buckets of weeds (or only 8 buckets of thistles).
Darn. I’m seriously being over-charged for weed control…