Harvest season presents a high-risk period for spreading Psa-V or other biosecurity risks between blocks, orchards and regions because of the numbers of vehicles, machinery and people movements involved.
Growers are responsible for protecting their orchards, and others, by ensuring the movement of harvest equipment, people and bins onto and around their orchard is minimised.
Top tips for harvest hygiene preparation:
• Clear loadout areas of weeds before harvest. We’re in the high-risk period for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), considered number two on Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted biosecurity threats list, so be on the lookout.
• Clearly mark parking and hygiene control areas.
• Allow only essential vehicles into the production area.
• Limit access to established roads and tracks.
• Make sure contractors and staff understand your hygiene requirements.
• Check all equipment - harvest bins, harvest machinery, picking bags etc. coming on to your orchard are free of plant and soil material.
• Ensure people check that clothing (particularly headwear and footwear) is free of plant material on entry and exit.
• Do not allow workers to bring imported fruit onto the orchard or provide measures to ensure this fruit is not discarded near vines.
Having extra people through orchards means more pairs of eyes that can be on the lookout for unusual vine symptoms or pests – or BMSB.
The invasive South American plant, Pampas, is well-established in most regions where kiwifruit is grown. Pampas has now begun to flower and the seeds (more than 100,000 per flowerhead) will be dispersed by strong winds. Any Pampas growing in, or adjacent, to kiwifruit orchards can be a problem in that any seed attached to fruit is a reject factor, and may cause market access issues if found within a shipment or container.
If Pampas is established in your orchard or shelter belt, cut down and destroy the flowerheads now.
Pampas plants can be dug out or removed by a digger, or controlled with glyphosate herbicide. A surfactant/spreader needs to be added to the herbicide mixture. Do not attempt to spray Pampas in an orchard if fruit are still on vines.
Pampas (Cortaderia selloana or C. jubata) is different from the native toetoe (Cortaderia fulvida) in that Pampas grows faster and is an invasive plant; it flowers in autumn rather than spring; is more robust and upright; and produces a different shaped and larger flowerhead (cone-shaped rather than flag-like).
Contact John Mather at KVH at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like any further information.
Dr Doug McKenzie-Mohr, an internationally-recognised commentator on design and delivery of community information programmes, was recently in Hamilton, taking part in a workshop programme on the science and psychology behind behaviour change initiatives.
Staff from KVH and a wide range of primary sector, and industry groups, took part in the workshop.
Dr McKenzie Mohr’s ideas about identifying barriers to behaviour change and developing community-based social marketing initiatives to overcome those barriers, can be applied to strategic biosecurity initiatives.
Engaging with a wide range of audiences, from across a broad section of communities is a fundamental part of KVH and the kiwifruit industry’s work.
When we think of current examples like the ongoing management of the Psa disease, or raising awareness about the importance of good biosecurity practice year-round, the learnings from the workshops will help organisations and leaders within the industry understand the challenges and trends related to how people make behavioural choices and where they prefer to get their information.
We have a very clear direction and goal – a biosecurity team of 4.7 million people. We need to be responsive to peoples changing needs so that we’re providing them with the information they want, when they want it, in a way that encourages them to take part in the biosecurity related actions we’re asking of them.
If there are barriers in the way, we need to make changes to the way we do things and find more effective ways of interacting. That may mean changing from the more traditional approach of newspaper ads or printed brochures, to being at more face-to-face community events so we can get direct feedback from people.
We often get phone calls and emails from members of the public and growers who think they may have found a pest or bug from our most unwanted list. This is a good thing – it’s exactly the type of behaviour we want to see as it shows people are on the lookout and aware of not just biosecurity risk in general, but also of the look and size of the organisms that are considered the highest risk to the kiwifruit industry.
A lot of people are on orchards for harvest at this time of the year so we’re getting an increased number of reports – six so far this week infact. They have all turned out to be native brown soldier bugs which are very similar but can be differentiated because they’re much smaller.
The message remains the same for growers, contractors and anyone else on-orchard: stay vigilant, be on the lookout, and report anything unusual. Please take a photo (very rarely will we need to see the actual specimen) of what you find and send it to us at email@example.com so we can have a look at it for you. Don’t be afraid to report any suspect finds – the sooner you alert us the more we can do to help.
It’s March already but there are still plenty of school and public holidays to come …. don’t forget you can get a handy wall calendar free from us for your office or home.
Produced by KVH and the Tauranga port community, the calendar includes loads of helpful images and a quick and easy reference guide to unwanted pests and diseases, their risk months, where and how they are most likely to enter New Zealand and where you should lookout for them.
Effectively managing the risk of an invasive hitchhiker pest like BMSB requires all parties in the biosecurity system to be involved in delivering pre-border, border and post border interventions.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been engaging with a number of stakeholders, including KVH, to manage the risk of BMSB entering New Zealand.
An update on these activities, focused on pre-border and border initiatives is now available on the KVH website.
This includes pre-shipment treatment requirements, awareness activities with major shippers and interventions.
On a recent trip back to New Zealand, Zespri’s Japan supply manager Bryan McGillivray shared insights on the spread of Psa and other unwanted pests in Japan with Zespri colleagues and KVH.
Remember, there are only small market access implications from Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) but the production impact is vast. The sooner you alert us, the more we can do to help you. Early detection is key to eradication – if we don’t report and miss this window BMSB could be a challenge we have to deal with forever.