Last Sunday the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirmed two weeks of trapping, fruit sampling and testing had passed without any further Tau flies being found and the movement restrictions on fruit and vegetables in the controlled area were subsequently lifted.
While the response operation is now over and New Zealand is officially Tau fly-free, MPI’s routine checks for fruit flies will continue with its nationwide network of 7,600 fruit fly surveillance traps.
Summer is high-risk season for fruit flies and other pests coming into New Zealand, so growers and residents are reminded to be vigilant. Report anything of concern, particularly insects or larvae in fruit, to MPI’s pest and disease hotline – 0800 80 99 66.
The sale of kiwifruit plant material through Trade Me is a known risk of potential movement of diseased material, and one KVH has been monitoring for some time.
KVH has made Trade Me aware of these risks, and as a result they made the decision to place a complete ban on the sale of kiwifruit plant material; so the risk of moving diseased material through this channel is now eliminated. The ban includes the sale of kiwifruit plants, kiwifruit budwood, kiwifruit pollen and kiwifruit firewood.
Trade Me is implementing this action in the coming weeks.
In September last year KVH distributed a fact sheet through the KVH Bulletin about plant virus Betaflexiviridae being detected in New Zealand kiwifruit vines. There are no symptoms or disease associated with this virus and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) consider it to be low-to-zero biosecurity risk.
However, there is a possibility that impacts may exist and have not been observed, or may develop in the future. Therefore, as an industry we are taking a precautionary approach to managing Betaflexiviridae and have implemented management practices to further limit distribution of this virus.
This will include Plant and Food Research no longer supplying Bruno seed from their orchards. Nurseries have been informed of this change and we are not expecting plant supply issues as a result.
The KVH Board welcomes Richard Procter as the new Board Secretary from 15 February.
Most recently Richard held the position of Chief Executive of Kiwifruit New Zealand for 10 years, so many will be familiar with Richard and the knowledge of the industry he will bring into his role as Board Secretary.
Richard holds a Masters degree in Commerce, is a qualified Chartered Accountant (retired), and has had an extensive commercial career in accounting, finance, investment banking, business analysis and consultancy.
Richard replaces former Secretary Mike Chapman who resigned late last year following his appointment as Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand.
It is the height of stink bug season; so growers and residents are reminded to keep an eye out for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) which can enter New Zealand on inanimate objects like shipping containers, cars and even through objects bought through online channels like E-bay. Travellers returning to New Zealand are also at risk of importing the BMSB in their luggage.
Due to a rise in reporting of suspicious-looking stink bugs, there appears to be a heightened awareness amongst the industry and the general public about the BMSB. Thankfully these cases have been confirmed negative. However, it’s encouraging to know people are doing the right thing and contacting MPI when they find what appears to be a BMSB.
The BMSB is one of kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted – as both a horticultural pest and a public nuisance. Eradication would be extremely difficult if it were to establish here so early detection is essential to keeping it out of New Zealand.
If you think you have seen a BMSB call the MPI Pest and Disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
Japanese scientists from the Ehime Research Centre in Japan visited New Zealand this week on a Zespri-hosted tour. They were interested in learning about Psa control practices, resistance testing and varietal assessment within breeding programmes, and welcomed the opportunity to build knowledge and strengthen relationships with researchers and Gold3 growers.
Technical Senior Researcher, Nobuki Miyata and Pathology Senior Researcher, Mitsuo Aono, met with KVH and members of the Zespri Innovation team to discuss research opportunities. Pollen cleaning and assessment of endophytes and other biological control methods for Psa were seen as possible areas for future collaboration.
Access to clean pollen is a challenge for Japanese growers. Around half of their orchards have no males and rely solely on artificial pollination.
Psa-V (biovar 3) was identified in Japan for the first time in 2014 and is now present in seven Japanese prefectures. Other Psa strains (biovar 1 and biovar 2) are also present in Japan and appear more virulent to Hayward varieties than Psa-V. They have also identified a new strain (biovar 5) which is of lower virulence to biovar 3, but still causes leaf spotting and flower infection.
Changes to the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) have been implemented following consultation with industry nurseries late last year.
Click here for a one-page information sheet.
The updated KPCS documents are now available to all nurseries and growers on the KVH website.
After 1 October 2016 the scheme will be fully implemented and growers will have three options for sourcing kiwifruit rootstock and grafted plants:
All nurseries intending to sell/move plants this year need to register with KVH here.
WC & VM Parker Ltd (formerly trading as Tauranga Nurseries) has joined the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) and is now producing certified kiwifruit plants for sale. This is the second Bay of Plenty nursery to join the KPCS.
By joining the KPCS, WC & VM Parker Ltd demonstrates it is managing biosecurity risks, has been independently audited, visually inspected for target organisms and returned a non-detected result for a very comprehensive testing regime for Psa-V.
A list of all nurseries who are part of the KPCS are available on the KVH website here.
In the January edition of the Kiwifruit Journal, Ohaeawai Nursery advertised kiwifruit plants for sale in a leaflet that contained errors. The leaflet stated that “all zones including Exclusion and Controlled” could be supplied with kiwifruit plants.
However, KVH have advised Ohaeawai Nursery that until it joins the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) it cannot supply plants to Whangarei (an Exclusion region with a controlled area in place); and even under the KPCS, plants from Ohaeawai Nursery will not be able to be supplied to the South Island (also an Exclusion region).
Ohaeawai Nursery is in the process of joining the KPCS and is currently a KVH-registered nursery.
To date, no further Tau Flies have been detected in Auckland; the total remains as one male Tau Fly detected.
If no further flies are found within 14 days of its detection, the response will conclude and New Zealand will regain its fruit fly free status. No markets have placed restrictions on NZ products.
Field operational activities are ongoing including checking surveillance traps in Zone A and B, fruit and vegetable monitoring, amnesty bin placement and visiting retailers and other sites of interest.
Residents in the Controlled Area are asked NOT to move the following produce:
Click here for more information on the MPI website.
October through to May is the height of cruise ship season which brings thousands of passengers into New Zealand through our Ports. This increase in visitors also increases the risk of pests and diseases entering our borders through disembarking passengers.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has done a tremendous job with cruise ship management and staff to help them educate passengers of the risk they present before they disembark. This then lessens disruption during the biosecurity screening process as they leave the ship.
An example of measures to educate passengers and reduce biosecurity risk on a recently-arrived cruise ship into Auckland and Tauranga included:
As a result of these measures, the more than 2600 passengers then screened by MPI had only one minor seizure amongst them.
Most growing areas are reporting reduced levels of Psa-V symptoms through January. This is expected as higher summer temperatures are less conducive to Psa-V spread.
However, wet periods add risk where Psa-V is present, particularly for young tissue. Trimming new male growth, and removing infected material from the canopy will reduce risk of Psa-V build-up.
The Psa-V Risk Model predicts risk associated with upcoming weather patterns and should be used to assess when additional protective coppers should be applied.
Be cautious of weather conditions when applying copper, as humidity can impact on drying and slow drying increases risk of phytotoxicity. Ideally, also avoid tank mixing copper with other products.