Last week KVH helped host a group of Chinese technicians from the Shaanxi Haisheng Fresh Fruit Juice Co – the world′s largest fruit and vegetable juice concentrate manufacturer.
The group were here on a Zespri-hosted tour to learn about the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and spent a day with KVH learning about Psa-V and other industry biosecurity risks.
KVH staff visited orchards in the Wanganui region this week to review recovery from the spring floods and severe Psa-V following a very wet and cold spring.
It is testament to the determination and strength of the growers that following their hard work in removing silt, two of the flooded orchards visited have successfully set a crop on large parts of the orchards.
Some plant deaths have occurred in the areas that suffered water logging for extended periods. Psa-V spotting has been more severe, largely due to an inability to access the orchards with sprayers. However, both orchards were able to successfully pollinate large areas. The hot, dry summer in the region has ensured the remaining silt has dried out and the Psa-V presence has reduced. One of the flooded orchards is being removed and a second flooded orchard that has been largely abandoned is likely to be removed.
Severe Psa-V that was evident in males in some Hayward orchards in spring has impacted on pollination. While this was partly offset with artificial pollination, there has still been the need to remove volumes of poorly-pollinated fruit. One additional Hayward orchard was identified with Psa-V in spring. However, the impact has been minimal to date with a good crop set and only mild leaf spotting.
A Gold3 orchard with established Psa-V in one block, has seen the need for ongoing removal of around 5-7 % canopy. Other Gold3 blocks in the same orchard remain relatively clear. A first year fruiting canopy under a plastic cover in the same orchard is showing no signs of Psa-V and is carrying an excellent first year crop after achieving full canopy.
The KVH team presented autumn Psa-V messages at a grower meeting reminding growers that a more proactive Psa-V management programme in autumn can lead to reduced symptoms in spring.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has tightened biosecurity screening on incoming passengers from Australia due to a recent outbreak of Mediterranean fruit fly in Adelaide.
Arriving passengers may be greeted by detector dogs as soon as they step off the plane under the strict new measures.
The use of dogs at the arrival gate allows greater scrutiny of hand luggage – the most likely source of fruit and other risk items that could harbour fruit fly. In the past, passengers would not have come across a biosecurity detector dog until they had passed through customs.
A quarantine zone has been imposed in Adelaide following the discovery of the Med-fly in locally-grown peaches.
In February MPI provided KVH and other GIA signatories with updated BMSB interception data. This interception data shows that the risk profile of this pest is changing.
Interceptions from the USA have decreased, which may indicate that measures introduced by MPI and their US counterparts are successfully reducing the risk of entry through this pathway. However, interceptions from Europe are increasing.
BMSB was first detected in Europe in 2007. It is now established in nine European countries and is likely in the early stages of a population explosion similar to what we have seen in the USA. This population growth and range expansion is reflected in the interception data with a clear spike in interceptions from Italy.
MPI’s readiness approach utilises a ‘BMSB network’ which includes industry organisations such as KVH. KVH’s involvement in these activities includes the following.
Response framework under GIA
Research efforts to mitigate risk and impact of BMSB
Communications to increase likelihood of early detection
Advocating for tighter measures to reduce the likelihood of entry
Click here for more information on the BMSB.
KVH and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council have recently received complaints about moth plant (Araujia hortorum), a fast-growing, invasive climbing weed (pictured right). It is not too late to control moth plant. Removing vines and seed pods from shelter belts now will prevent further infestations next year. Moth plant harbours passion vine hopper, slows down orchard shelter trimmers and is a poisonous plant. Find out more about moth plant here.
A $3000 fine imposed on an Australian yachtie who intentionally brought fruit, vegetables and meat into New Zealand is not enough to act as a deterrent: this is the opinion of Horticulture NZ and one KVH supports.
Australian woman, Dianne Young, hid the food in her vessel instead of declaring it to a quarantine officer at Opua in the Bay of Islands in 2014.
An MPI quarantine officer searching the vessel after its arrival from Fiji found eggs, oranges, apples, tomatoes, pumpkin, pineapple, onions, kumara, ginger, garlic, spring onions, meat patties, ham, eggplant, bok choy, cabbage, cucumber, capsicum and lettuce.
All these items are considered ‘risk goods’ and could harbour pests such as fruit flies – putting New Zealand’s primary industries at enormous risk.
While this discovery and seizure of fruit demonstrates MPI’s biosecurity system is robust and working well, KVH agrees the subsequent punishment by the courts should be more severe to send a much stronger message to those who intentionally break the rules.
New Zealand is now into the third season with Giant Willow Aphid (GWA) and the New Zealand Poplar and Willow Research Trust have field experiments in place to help evaluate the effect of GWA in New Zealand.
GWA colonises both tree and non-tree willows (shrub and osier) with the rate of colony growth differing between willow species.
Any information on which willow(s) are affected, age of affected trees, potential stressors on the affected willows and impacts such as reduced growth or yellowing or dropping leaves, helps add to the understanding of the impacts of this pest across the country.
Reporting of any situations where insecticide spraying has improved willow health is also useful.
Populations are now on the rise with a few cases of GWA recently reported from kiwifruit orchards in the Nelson region.
Growers are asked to look out for GWA and contact Sylvia Warren at Zespri if they are seeing this pest in their orchards – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here for more information on the giant willow aphid.
KVH staff recently visited Gisborne and Hawkes Bay orchards that were confirmed Psa-V positive for the first time through spring 2015.
Since 1 August 2015 an additional 14 orchards from Gisborne and five from Hawkes Bay have tested Psa-V positive.
Blocks showing symptoms last year were also revisited to understand the challenges growers had faced over the past six months.
Cold, wet spring conditions and in particular, damaging southerly winds, were considered the most likely drivers of new infections within the regions.
Growers converting from Hort16A to Gold3 with colder sites or more severely infected stumps, experienced difficulty achieving high winter graft success (pictured above). Re-grafting continued through summer and multiple grafts to the same stump and/or suckers have been completed.
Poor synchronisation of male and female flowers in some Gold3 blocks have been a concern, particularly for Gisborne growers. The need to stock pollen for artificial pollination and the importance of good male management was discussed. Male grafts on Bounty rootstock, autumn trunk-girdling of males to bring flowering forward and male management to provide a range of cane types to spread flowering timing, were all strategies thought worthy of trialling.
Two growers with young Gold3 blocks that suffered up to 20% canopy cut-out due to Psa-V through spring, identified the need to take care when managing strung cane through the autumn period. Both growers believed cane damage, and possibly poor tool hygiene during autumn work led to spring infection.
It was pleasing to see the level of proactive management in place and the high standard of hygiene being enforced by growers in general.
The KVH team also presented autumn Psa-V messages at the Zespri OPC field days, and reminded growers that a more proactive Psa-V management programme in autumn can lead to reduced symptoms in spring.
Click here for KVH’s field day notes on the KVH website.
KVH staff recently attended a workshop, hosted by Honour McCann (Massey University) and Plant & Food Research to observe the development of a new rapid test for Psa that can be done in the field.
The test uses LAMP technology which is being developed for a number of pathogens and has the potential to deliver a diagnostic result within around 30 minutes in the field.
Workshop participants had the opportunity to use the test in the field on a Psa-affected orchard, to see how quickly and easily results could be produced. This test is not yet commercially available and still requires further development. However, it is good insight into tools that may be available to us in the near future. These tools may have applications for biosecurity surveillance and response.
This workshop illustrated one example of a field diagnostic test, the LAMP assay. However, we are aware that there are several other techniques being developed by other organisations in New Zealand and offshore. A group of scientists also visited Te Puke Plant and Food Research Centre this week to test another field deployable Psa field assay system.
Photo: (L-R) Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, MPI dog handler Niina Edgar with Ayla the beagle, KVH Chairman Peter Ombler and KVH Chief Executive Barry O’Neil at this morning’s launch at Port of Tauranga.
More than 50 leaders from Bay of Plenty industries and organisations came together this morning with the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, and Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, to celebrate the official launch of ‘biosecurity operational excellence’ at Port of Tauranga (POTL).
Guests were given an overview of the initiative and gained a good insight into the innovative ways Bay of Plenty industries and government are working together to better understand biosecurity risk at Port of Tauranga and to raise awareness amongst the Port community.
The group also observed the passenger biosecurity screening process of incoming cruise ship ‘The Arcadia’ where detector dog Ayla went to work sniffing out food risk items from more than 2000 disembarking passengers. The Arcadia arrived from Tahiti and Tauranga was its first port of call.
The project, which started as an exercise to better understand biosecurity risks at POTL, has a working group made up of committed Bay of Plenty sectors. They are:
The programme is tailored to organisms and particular imported goods and pathways relevant to the Bay of Plenty. However, the vision has always been to develop this approach as a national model.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released a new biosecurity inflight video that plays on arriving international flights before landing in New Zealand.
To engage passengers, the video is humorous, yet still delivers the serious message of biosecurity and what passengers need to do once they arrive in New Zealand.
The video has been translated into seven different languages, including a dubbed-over Chinese version.
The video is part of MPI’s wider market programme to encourage arriving passengers to “declare or dispose” biosecurity risk goods before they enter New Zealand or face a $400 fine.
Click here to watch the video.
Keep up to date with MPI’s latest biosecurity news through ‘The Border Space’ – MPI’s quarterly newsletter updating New Zealanders on what’s happening at our borders.
The latest issue includes: information about the Zika virus and what is in place to reduce the risk of it entering NZ; a new phone App designed for incoming cruise ship passengers to educate them on what to do when entering NZ; how the new border levy has been operating since its introduction on 1 January 2016; celebrating 24 new detector dog teams; and other interesting stats and facts on border security.
Click here to read The Border Space.