Growers are encouraged to attend the upcoming inaugural Kiwifruit Innovation Symposium on Thursday 29 October which includes an interactive biosecurity workshop.
There has been a lot happening in the biosecurity space and the event provides a great opportunity to be updated on what’s happening and also discuss future ideas and opportunities.
The session will give an update on biosecurity threats and the activities being undertaken to mitigate these; and explore opportunities to enhance our system for reporting emerging risks and on-orchard biosecurity practices.
For more information and to book your tickets to the Symposium go to http://zesprievents.co.nz/
The Bay of Plenty Regional Council (BOPRC) has provided details of the 2014/15 wild kiwifruit control programme.
Contractors controlled 4988 wild vines on properties in the Pyes Pa, Omanawa and Te Puke east areas. Most vines were 3cm or less basal diameter, indicating the plants had grown from recently germinated seed. Birds such as wax-eyes spread kiwifruit seed by feeding on unpicked fruit over winter months. Therefore, it is important growers remove all unpicked fruit from orchard vines.
Council recently approved further funding assistance for the wild kiwifruit control programme after considering a KVH submission to BOPRC’s Long Term Plan 2015-2025. BOPRC and KVH will each provide 37.5% of contractor control costs; and landowners will provide 25%. Wild kiwifruit is a containment pest in Council’s Regional Pest Management Plan and landowners are required to control all wild kiwifruit growing on their property.
KVH will continue to work collaboratively with the BOPRC (and other regional and district councils) to ensure wild kiwifruit is destroyed. Wild kiwifruit presents a potential biosecurity risk by harbouring pests and exacerbating further spread if wild vines themselves set fruit.
If you know the location of wild kiwifruit plants, please report them to KVH on 0800 665 825; or if growing in the Bay of Plenty – to a biosecurity officer at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council on 0800 884 880.
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) fully supports today’s announcement by the Government to finalise the Border Clearance Levy on passengers entering New Zealand from 1 January 2016.
KVH Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, says The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has carried out a thorough consultation process which the kiwifruit industry has been actively engaged with.
“KVH has always supported the levy as it will provide sustainable funding into the future and address New Zealand’s increasing biosecurity risks as more and more passengers enter New Zealand. As a GIA partner we provided input during the consultation period to ensure the best possible outcome was achieved for the kiwifruit industry and New Zealand.”
“We believe the Government has landed in an appropriate and pragmatic place as a result of the consultation.”
The kiwifruit industry is no stranger to unwanted pests and diseases so is very supportive of any initiatives that increase protection at the border.
“As passenger numbers coming into New Zealand rise, so too does the risk of unwanted pests and diseases. Therefore it makes sense to have a funding mechanism that can keep pace with the changing risk profile; and those that create risks at the border will also fund the activities to mitigate them.”
Passenger volumes are forecast to increase to 13.3 million by 2018/19. This growth is expected to continue at around 3.5–4 percent per year.
This month KVH will be consulting with kiwifruit nurseries and growers on several proposed changes to the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS).
These changes are based on feedback received from growers and nurseries over the past 18 months since the scheme was introduced in May 2014.
Key proposed changes and amendments include:
Alternative Psa-V monitoring and testing requirements
This will open up options for nurseries supplying outdoor-grown plants to local growers within their growing region. There would be no requirement to test for the ‘common’ NZ strain of Psa-V, however additional requirements would exist to test for other strains of Psa (non-NZ, streptomycin resistant and copper tolerant).
Definition and controls for ‘growing for own use’
From 1 October 2016, kiwifruit plants being moved between properties must either be KPCS certified, or for a grower’s use on properties they own within the same kiwifruit growing region. The consultation paper will provide clarity on the definition of ‘growing for own use’, the number of plants that can be moved under this mechanism and the controls associated with these movements.
Additional target organisms for the scheme
Additional biosecurity threats will be added as target organisms to the Scheme. Technical advice is being provided to ensure nurseries providing certified plants have the ability to control, or detect, these other target organisms within their operation.
Details of all the proposed changes and amendments to the Scheme are available in a consultation paper which has been released to nurseries and is available to growers on the KVH website.
KVH recently visited nine orchards in the Whanganui region. Wet cold conditions have made for a very challenging winter which was intensified for some local growers by severe flooding in the region. Like many regions, Whanganui has reported more widespread Psa-V infection this spring, including one new Psa-V positive orchard being confirmed. Growers have been encouraged to actively remove infected material from their orchards to help minimise the longer term impact of a severe winter.
Many growers in the region have applied good spray programmes including copper and Actigard through the growing season and over the winter period to give them the best possible chance in a tough spring Psa-V environment.
Three orchards affected by the floods were part of the visit and while one grower has elected to remove the orchard due to severe flood and silt damage, two others are working to repair flood damage and are hopeful they will recover and crop.
A grower meeting was held to discuss best practises to help manage the spread of Psa including spring girdling and spray programme options.
Last week KVH announced a Psa-V positive result in a Whangarei orchard – the first confirmed case of Psa-V in the Whangarei region.
All growers in the region were quickly advised of the situation by KVH and extensive monitoring was carried out in the region over the weekend. No further evidence of Psa-V was detected in the surrounding orchards and samples tested for Psa-V were confirmed ‘not detected’.
A controlled area has been put in place with an eight kilometre radius from the affected orchard. The controlled area comprises of 32 orchards. Growers within the controlled area have been issued with a controlled area protocol detailing movement restrictions, monitoring and reporting requirements and best practice advice for orchard hygiene and crop protection programmes.
KVH met with around 50 Whangarei growers on Tuesday and will continue to provide support and information to growers to help minimise the risks and impacts of Psa-V in the region.
A proactive Northland grower who reported Psa-like symptoms to KVH has helped detect a new fungal species. Samples were tested for Psa-V but returned a ‘not-detected’ result; and further analysis by MPI confirmed the presence of three fungal species:
It is uncertain if N. microconidia or C. rosea cause disease in kiwifruit and if they have contributed to the observed symptoms.
P. telopeae is considered an environmental fungus which means it is not known to attack plants and unlikely to present a biosecurity risk.
The discovery has revealed that while this is the first time N. microconidia has been formally identified in NZ, it has been here for at least two years. In 2013 Plant & Food Research observed similar symptoms in Te Puke. At the time they were not identified to a species level, but samples were stored for future analysis. Recent DNA analysis has confirmed these historical samples are the same species as those found in Northland.
The detection of new fungal species is not unexpected given the advances in DNA technology; and as N. microconidia has been in NZ for at least two years the investigation is unlikely to result in a response.
KVH is working with the orchard manager to minimise potential impacts and spread by ensuring good hygiene practices are in place and plant material does not leave the orchard.
KVH has also proposed commissioning research to determine if the species are the primary cause of disease or secondary infections and is working closely with MPI and PFR to determine what this research will entail.
Click here for a fact sheet on the KVH website.
MPI has announced it will increase biosecurity staff and checks in the on international yachts entering Whangarei this season.
From October to December there will be four extra staff based in the region to carry out biosecurity inspections and dog teams to check selected vessels for undeclared food, plants and other risk goods that could carry pests and diseases.
Navel and aerial surveillance will also start in October to ensure vessels do not make landfall in New Zealand before they arrive at the only two approved places in Northland for yachts to arrive, Opua and Marsden Cove.
MPI has also been working to raise biosecurity awareness levels amongst the yachting communities.
MPI’s latest annual compliance survey shows that 98.7 percent of international air passengers are free of biosecurity risk items by the time they leave the airport.
The survey also shows:
The successful results are largely due to the introduction of a much stricter auditing regime in 2012 (when the compliance result was 95.3 percent). This includes the adoption of improved x-ray technology and increased numbers of detector dogs and quarantine staff.
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has received a Psa-V positive test result on Hort16A and male vines on a kiwifruit orchard in Whangarei. This is the first confirmed case of Psa-V on an orchard in the Whangarei region.
All growers in the region have been advised of the situation by KVH, including best-practice advice going forward. KVH will hold a meeting for Whangarei growers next week and will be carrying out extensive monitoring in the region over the weekend.
There are a total of 49 orchards in the Whangarei region comprising of approximately 144 canopy hectares.
KVH Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, said this new find in Whangarei is very disappointing and will be particularly hard for local growers and the regional committee.
“Whangarei growers and the regional committee have done a fantastic job at keeping Psa-V out of the region for more than four years. The fact Whangarei is located between two positive regions, and is only now being confirmed with Psa-V, is testament to the highly proactive approach they have taken over the last few years.”
“However, it has been a cold, wet winter and spring is always a nervous wait as we start to see what effect the winter has had on orchards. This spring KVH has had reporting of more widespread infection in all positive regions – worse than the last couple of years so this result in Whangarei is not entirely unexpected.”
“Based on the symptoms found—dieback and exudate—it’s likely the disease has been in the area for some time and the symptoms are now starting to show.”
“Every grower in every region should be proactively monitoring their vines and maintaining a robust spray programme this spring to protect their orchards as much as possible.”
Growers in the Whangarei area are advised the following.
Annual mandatory monitoring for growers in Exclusion and Containment regions and also ‘Not Detected’ orchards in Recovery regions is required to be carried out between 15 September and 15 October with reporting due to KVH by 31 October 2015.
An online reporting tool is available on the KVH website, allowing growers to submit monitoring results directly to KVH. Click here to access this tool and for more information about mandatory monitoring requirements in your region.