An incoming passenger from Hong Kong was refused entry into New Zealand by border officials after a biosecurity detector dog sniffed out lemons concealed in her pants at Auckland Airport. The passenger was returned to Hong Kong on the next available flight.
KVH strongly supports the action taken by Immigration NZ and MPI which sends a firm message to those who deliberately smuggle high-risk food items into NZ.
Lemons from offshore can harbour unwanted pests like fruit fly, which would have a devastating impact on New Zealand’s horticulture industries if it were to enter and establish here.
Read MPI’s press release here.
MPI has released a consultation package asking industry for comments on its proposed approach for determining a fruit fly export restriction zone (ERZ) during an incursion. This consultation package is comprised of the following:
KVH is looking for an Independent Director with experience in biosecurity to make a significant contribution to the strategic approach to biosecurity risk management for the kiwifruit industry to join the KVH Board.
Click here for the job description.
If you are interested in this position, please send your expression of interest with details of your relevant experience to:
PO Box 4246
Mt Maunganui South
Or email to: Jacqui.firstname.lastname@example.org
Online auction site Trade Me, has now implemented the ban on kiwifruit plant material, following a request from KVH. This includes the sale of kiwifruit plants, budwood, pollen and firewood through their site. Click here to view kiwifruit plant material listed on their banned/restricted items list.
Weather warnings have been issued over the Easter weekend and the KVH Risk Model is showing high-risk weather for Psa in many regions including Te Puke, Kerikeri and Whangarei.
Heavy rain and strong winds can cause damage to vines, increasing risk of Psa-V infection and spread.
Growers with orchards impacted by this weather are recommended to apply a copper spray immediately following the weather event and monitor at-risk areas of the orchard.
Preliminary results from the latest KVH round of the ongoing Psa resistance and tolerance monitoring programme show a significant increase in the number of samples with a degree of tolerance to copper.
The February/March programme tested 237 samples from 99 KIPNs. Of these, forty-two samples showed low levels of tolerance to copper; and 23 samples showed medium levels of tolerance to copper. These samples were from 56 KPINs. The level of tolerance identified is still below the concentration of copper in a spray tank when applied at recommended rates, but the development is concerning.
The orchards are spread across the growing regions with the majority of orchards identified in Te Puke. The other areas are Whakatane, Opotiki, Poverty Bay, Coromandel, and Kerikeri.
KVH is contacting the owners of the orchards showing medium levels of copper tolerance to review what is happening on orchard and attempt to better understand the potential implications on Psa control. Orchards where copper tolerance has been identified are also required to manage risk items off-orchard to reduce the risk of transferring the bacteria to other locations.
All growers are encouraged to ensure copper is applied at label rates using high enough water rates to ensure complete coverage of the canopy and to follow best practice Psa management advice. This includes a comprehensive spray programme of five copper applications at full winter rates, starting immediately post-harvest and through dormancy. It’s also important to remove infected material from orchards, maintain good hygiene between vines and alternate spray protection products.
In addition to the resistance and tolerance monitoring work being carried out for KVH by Hills Laboratory, Otago University, Massey University and Plant and Food Research are undertaking studies looking at the genome sequence of Psa and how the bacteria is evolving on orchards. All these researchers have identified the presence of additional genes that they believe are associated with copper resistance in Psa. These samples were from a selection of orchards in the Te Puke region. It is important to note these research institutes have each used a different testing methodology to determine the level of copper required to inhibit the bacterial growth and as such, we still don’t know if this development is a significant finding.
KVH will host a collaborative science workshop in May for scientists from Otago University, Massey University, Plant and Food Research and other experts to discuss the findings to date and gain a better understanding of the situation. The objectives include agreeing a standardised testing methodology for resistance/tolerance and steps on how we best manage the increasing risk of Psa evolving and developing a resistance to copper.
Orchards that have been found to have a copper/streptomycin tolerance or resistance should refer to KVH Protocol: Resistance/tolerance to Psa control products.
Any growers concerned they may not be achieving the expected levels of Psa control from copper applications at label rates should contact KVH on 0800 665 825 or email email@example.com.
This week KVH met with North West Auckland growers to discuss autumn Psa-V protection and to reinforce the importance of orchard biosecurity and hygiene through the harvest and winter period.
North West Auckland now has ‘containment’ regional status with three of their 23 KPINs confirmed Psa-V positive.
Infected material was removed from the two Psa-V positive Gold3 blocks through to early December. However, no new symptoms have been seen in recent weeks.
Hayward vines reported Psa-V positive during the November KVH monitoring round, have found no further symptoms since cut-out of the two original symptomatic vines.
Overall growers in the North-West Auckland region have done an excellent job with biosecurity and managing the positive orchards to reduce disease spread.
KVH has facilitated the removal of a one hectare abandoned kiwifruit orchard in the North-West Auckland region. The orchard was recorded as unmanaged three years ago but was subsequently pruned and sprayed to meet KVH requirements.
The property was recently sold and after considering all options, the new owners agreed to removal over management. The orchard was low-lying and a marginal economic proposition for continued Hayward production. Local postharvest companies were no longer interested in any possible lease.
A North-Auckland based contractor has completed the removal. Piled vines will be burnt once they have dried out and fruit picking is completed on neighbouring orchards.
KVH would like to thank the land owner and all involved in achieving a successful outcome.
If growers know of any unmanaged or abandoned kiwifruit orchards, please alert KVH with location and orchard status details – email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research clearly shows that as we move into autumn and temperatures drop and rainfall increases, Psa-V inoculum levels start to rise.
With the upcoming harvest we will also see a big increase in movement of people and machinery between orchards.
Growers and contractors are reminded to make sure good orchard hygiene practices are in place; not just to reduce the risk of spreading Psa-V through machinery, tools, people and vehicles, but also to reduce the risk of spreading streptomycin-resistant and copper-tolerant/resistant Psa-V that may be present but undetected.
As previously reported, streptomycin resistance and copper tolerance has been found on a small number of orchards but may well be present on other orchards. Where it has been identified, orchards are being managed to ensure best practice is being carried out. This includes heightened hygiene measures, particularly during harvest, to reduce the spread to other orchards.
Best practice hygiene
Click here for KVH Best Practice: Orchard Hygiene
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.