There are eight organisms identified as the biggest biosecurity threat to NZ's kiwifruit industry. This is based on the risk of them arriving in New Zealand and the consequence to the industry should this occur. These are 'Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted'.
There are over fifty pests and pathogens identified as potential threats to the kiwifruit industry. KVH has developed a risk matrix to provide a structured and objective method of prioritising these organisms into a shorter list for the purpose of readiness and response planning. However, we recognise that the next biosecurity threat to challenge the industry may not be on this list and therefore readiness activities will not be limited to only these organisms.
The original version of this report was peer reviewed by MPI and Plant & Food Research. It is continually updated to reflect changes in the risk profile of pests and pathogens.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is the kiwifruit industry’s second-most ‘unwanted’ biosecurity threat after fruit flies; and the risk of it entering New Zealand is now considered extreme. The BMSB is able to hitchhike on inanimate objects such as cars and shipping containers. If it were to enter NZ it would have no problem establishing due to NZ’s highly suitable climate and abundance of host material. Its entry and establishment would result in significant production impacts to many horticultural industries.
The high risk and potential consequence of BMSB have made it a priority for biosecurity readiness activities for both MPI and KVH. An update on KVH activities to mitigate the risk and associated consequence of BMSB can be found here. (15.03.16)
Check out this video from the USA, where the ever-expanding BMSB population is taking over lifestyles. Share this video with your friends and family as everyone will be affected by this pest if it was to establish in New Zealand.
The Ministry for Primary Industries has also released a video featuring Ruud 'Bug Man' Kleinpaste explaining why brown marmorated stink bugs will be so bad for New Zealand if they get established.
Ceratocystis fimbriata is a soil-borne fungal pathogen that is causing significant damage to kiwifruit orchards in Brazil. The first reports of a wilt disease in kiwifruit in Brazil appeared in 2010. In the following years, significant vine losses have occurred, with some orchards losing 20–40% of vines. There are no efficacious control options available, and once the soil is contaminated, the replanting or re-grafting of new kiwifruit is not sustainable as the new vine will become infected. This pathogen is considered a serious biosecurity threat.
Ceratocystis fimbriata Research
KVH and Zespri are funding a number of research programmes to better understand this pathogen and reduce the likelihood and consequence of impacts to the New Zealand industry
Research proposals are currently being considered to sequence a number of ceratocystis strains, including the kiwifruit and sweet potato strains. This knowledge would significantly advance our knowledge of the pathogen and enable primers to be developed for rapid and accurate detection.
The financial impact of a fruit fly incursion to New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry is estimated to be between $2 million and $430 million. KVH has produced a short report summarising the financial impacts of different incursion scenarios based on previous fruit fly incursions in New Zealand and overseas and economic modelling by Underwood (2007).
Click here to view the report (18.03.14)