Last week the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced the successful eradication of the Queensland Fruit Fly from Auckland and officially closed out the response operation and lifted the restrictions on fruit and vegetable movements.
Over the last 10 months a huge amount of effort and resources has gone into the operation to assure MPI and our offshore markets that New Zealand is once again fruit-fly free.
The most affected households were located in the middle of the Controlled Area and have been extremely supportive during the response. Next week, KVH together with Pipfruit NZ and Horticulture NZ will visit the area and give a small token of thanks on behalf of NZ’s fruit and vegetable growers.
KVH recently made a submission to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on proposed changes to the ‘Post Entry Quarantine Facility Standard for Plants’.
The key changes proposed by MPI include:
The process for developing the standard has been inclusive of industries, with strong support by GERMAC (the Germplasm Advisory Committee, of which the kiwifruit industry is a member) and guided by a project board made up of MPI, industry and Crown Research Institute representatives.
KVH has supported the proposed changes overall and acknowledged MPI both for the quality of its’ proposal and industry inclusion in development of the proposal.
Click here for a copy of the KVH submission.
Yesterday KVH facilitated it’s third (and twice-annual) KiwiNet workshop with around 20 participants from across the industry. The aim of the workshop was to keep the group engaged, inform them of emerging biosecurity threats and activities undertaken to mitigate the risk and impact of these threats, and also to discuss ways to continually improve KiwiNet and its systems for any future responses (should they occur).
The group was presented with information on emerging risks to the industry (pests and diseases other than Psa and fruit flies) and new induction material that will provide kiwifruit staff with clarity of what is required of them during a response should they be called upon.
A highlight of the workshop was a presentation on the fungal pathogen Ceratocystis fimbriata by Dr Joy Tyson (Plant and Food Research) – click here.
Ceratocystis fimbriata is considered one of the most serious biosecurity threats to the kiwifruit industry and is causing extensive damage to the Brazilian kiwifruit industry.
Joy has visited Brazil and met with international experts in this field. Her presentation provided an overview of the impacts experienced in Brazil and the research being funded by the New Zealand kiwifruit industry to prepare for this threat should it ever arrive.
A key message for the industry from this presentation was if Ceratocystis fimbriata was to enter New Zealand there may be an opportunity to eradicate it if we are able to detect it an early stage. Therefore, unusual vine symptoms should always be reported. Tool hygiene and sourcing clean plant material will reduce the likelihood of spread, and should always be implemented as pathogens can be spread before we know they are here.
More info on Ceratocystis fimbriata and the research the KVH and Zespri are funding can be found here.
KVH is pleased to see that the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) have responded to new research on this organism and have introduced urgent amendments to the nursery stock import health standard to reduce the risk of Ceratocystis fimbriata entering on this pathway. Click here for more information.
KVH is investigating an unauthorised movement of an orchard tractor from Tauranga to Nelson. Due to the risk of transferring Psa-V and/or other organisms between regions, machinery movements from a Recovery region to an Exclusion region are restricted and KVH permission is required before movement occurs.
KVH will inspect the machinery to ensure all plant material and soil is removed; that wash-down has occurred and a KVH approved sanitiser (e.g. Virkon at 1%) has been applied.
In this case the tractor had been sitting in a sales yard for an extended amount of time and had been cleaned before and after movement. Letters of warning have been sent to the machinery dealer and orchardist involved. If the movement had occurred between kiwifruit orchards, a prosecution under the Biosecurity Act may have resulted.
Orchardists moving orchard machinery, undertaking development or any other work involving inter-regional movements are reminded to gain the required permissions.
If you are unsure of KVH requirements refer to KVH Protocol: Orchard Equipment and Infrastructure or call KVH on 0800 665 825.
The last day for Hill Laboratory to receive samples is Friday 18 December 2015, so please ensure any samples to be tested arrive on or before that date.
Start-up date for the New Year will be Tuesday 5 January 2016.
Only KVH pre-arranged urgent testing will be accepted between these dates. Please call Karyn Lowry on 027 227 1157 if you require urgent testing between 18 December and 5 January 2016. Photos of symptoms will be required.
We anticipate these will only be samples from areas currently free of Psa (i.e. South Island).
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has today announced the Auckland fruit fly eradication operation has been successful and New Zealand is once again ‘fruit fly-free’ - click here for MPI's release.
Field staff cleared fruit fly traps in Grey Lynn for the final time this morning and found no signs of the Queensland Fruit Fly. The last fruit flies were found in the affected area on 7 March.
KVH has been actively involved in the response, at both a governance level and also operationally. The kiwifruit industry was also quick to make resource available to support the eradication efforts.
KVH congratulates MPI and all those involved in the response for the successful outcome; and also thanks the Grey Lynn community affected by the movement controls and the response activities. Community support during the eradication programme was essential to help achieve eradication.
This news is a huge relief to New Zealand kiwifruit growers and other horticulture industries. As kiwifruit’s ‘most unwanted’ pest, the impacts of Queensland fruit flies establishing in New Zealand would be catastrophic to NZ’s thriving horticulture industries and their ability to export. A report on the financial impact to the kiwifruit industry if Queensland Fruit Fly established in New Zealand, estimates costs of up to $430 million per year.
The risk from unwanted fruit flies remains and KVH will continue to work with MPI to ensure the risks through border entry are managed.
On the topic of responses, KVH took part in an all-of-government biosecurity response exercise on Wednesday to test the activation and function of the National Security System responding to a biosecurity incursion of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).
As a GIA partner, KVH represented the kiwifruit industry at the decision-making table as part of the governance leadership group, ensuring risks to industry were addressed and the best outcome was achieved.
Amongst other things, the exercise highlighted how all relevant government agencies and industry can coordinate their efforts and work together to address biosecurity risks that impact across multiple sectors, the community and NZ’s environment. The exercise also increased the understanding of how GIA joint decision-making will operate in an all-of-government setting.
Managing male vines well is a key part of safeguarding orchards against Psa infection and future-proofing pollen supply for the orchard. Where needed, more tolerant male varieties should be grafted in and male pruning should be well supervised.
Click here for KVH Best Practice Advice: Male Management
Now that all kiwifruit orchards have progressed into flowering, KeyStrepto™ and Ambitious may no longer be applied. These products have been removed from the Recommended Product List for this time of year.
A new copper product for Psa-V protection has become available for conventional growers. AG Copp 75 (cuprous oxide) has a limited label claim and has been added to the Conventional Zespri Crop Protection Standard and the KVH Recommended Product List.
Manufacturers recommend applying AG Copp 75 on its own post-flowering to reduce the risk of fruit marking or leaf damage.
KVH together with the Port of Tauranga (POTL) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), has developed a 2016 ‘Biosecurity Pest Calendar’ to lift biosecurity protection at Tauranga’s Port by highlighting to staff some of the offshore pests that could enter New Zealand through their own workplace.
Featuring twelve unwanted pests including fruit flies, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, imported fire ants and other pests that could cause serious harm to New Zealand’s primary industries and unique environment, the calendar is part of an ongoing, wider initiative with other Bay of Plenty and industry organisations to pursue ‘biosecurity excellence at the Port’.
Hundreds of the calendars have been distributed throughout common areas and smoko rooms at the Port of Tauranga; and also transitional facilities and associated industries. This reaches thousands of front line staff working in and around the port, as well as others routinely handling biosecurity risk goods; so they know what to look for, where to look for them, when the highest risk times are, and what to do should they suspect something unusual.
Heightened surveillance amongst people who are likely to find these pests should they arrive is a good opportunity to help keep these unwanted pests out of New Zealand.
All staff working in and around the port can play a big part in keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of New Zealand. If they suspect any of the pests featured in the calendar they are encouraged to CATCH IT and CALL the MPI Pest and Disease Hotline on 0800 80 99 66.