One of the challenges with BMSB is the lack of effective tools available to detect and control this organism. In comparison the tools available for fruit fly are far more advanced as research has been ongoing for a much longer period of time.
Last year in response to the emerging threat of BMSB, MPI and other GIA signatories developed a research plan to provide more tools in the battle against BMSB. The three themes where the research is directed are:
Many of the research projects have been granted urgent priority status and link in to existing projects in the USA to deliver results as quickly as possible. Some projects have delivered results already. However, for others results will still be years away given the nature of the work.
In addition to this wider coordinated research approach, the kiwifruit industry is also undertaking research specific to our industry.
The impacts of BMSB on kiwifruit are unknown as there are few instances where invading BMSB populations overlap with kiwifruit production areas.
KVH has initiated discussions with Californian researchers to establish trials that will determine the impacts of BMSB on kiwifruit in both the laboratory and outdoor planted areas.
Matt Dyck, KVH Biosecurity
A joint campaign between KVH, MPI and PipFruit NZ to raise public awareness of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has resulted in several people contacting KVH with suspected sightings. Thankfully, none of these have been confirmed as the BMSB. However, its encouraging people are proactively keeping an eye out for them.
Bay of Plenty media have also picked up on the campaign and run a story to help raise local awareness – click here.
The BMSB is very similar to stink bugs already common in New Zealand. A good resource comparing the BMSB with other common stink bugs can be found on the BMSB page on the MPI website here.
Keeping BMSB out of NZ remains a real challenge and success depends on our ability to detect it as early as possible.
Know what BMSB looks like and educate your friends and family. The key distinguishing features of the BMSB are:
If you think you have seen BMSB, catch it and call the MPI pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.
Matt Dyck, KVH Biosecurity
Its well-known the Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) is a significant threat to New Zealand’s horticultural industry. However, it would also be a huge problem for home and hobby gardeners who enjoy growing fruit for their own use.
Female QFFs lay eggs under the skin of ripening fruit. These eggs hatch into white maggots that live and feed in the fruit for 7-12 days causing the fruit to rot from the inside.
Home gardeners in Australia have been living with the fruit fly for many years. In most Australian states and territories, fruit fly control is now the responsibility of every backyard gardener. These ongoing controls can include sanitisation, spraying, baiting, trapping and covering plants and are costly in terms of time, money and effort.
The number of websites and Youtube clips dedicated to teaching backyard growers’ about best-practice management and controlling fruit fly is indicative of the problem it has become in Australia.
The QFF is described as the bane of Australian gardeners’ and growers’ lives and it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep it out of New Zealand.
Also see: www.preventfruitfly.com.au which is sponsored by the National Fruit Fly Strategy.
Lara Harrison, KVH Communications
MPI confirmed last week the residents in the Grey Lynn controlled area are in for the long haul as the QFF response is likely to continue until at least November.
To date, 14 adult flies have been located and the last find was over a month ago on 6 March. The last detection of larvae in fruit collected from the affected area was on 13 March. While this is good news, it is still too early to confirm the flies are gone for good.
Response activities over winter
MPI expects to stop the baiting treatments in the Controlled Area sometime around early June, as fruit flies ‘hibernate’ during winter, and resume in the springtime to ensure all flies are eradicated. The surveillance traps will remain in place during winter, but will be checked less frequently.
During this time the controls on the movement of fruit and vegetables outside of the Controlled Area will continue to ensure any surviving flies are not spread from the area. MPI recently made it easier to comply with the rules by allowing customers to purchase fruit and vegetables at certain MPI-approved retailers within the Controlled Area that can be taken outside of the Controlled Area.
To keep up to date with information on the MPI website click here.
Lara Harrison, KVH Communications
KVH Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, has recently been appointed to the HortNZ Board as an Independent Director. Barry has extensive biosecurity governance experience, including membership of Australia’s National Biosecurity Committee and directorship of the New Zealand Bio-Protection Core and SCION.
KVH is looking for a person to inspect harvest bins at a Pukekohe packhouse to ensure they are free of leaf/plant material before they are delivered to Exclusion region orchards.
Work is part-time and on an on-call basis throughout April and May.
For further details phone Karyn Lowry on 027 227 1157 or email email@example.com
KVH has recently received several reports of unusual symptoms on kiwifruit orchards by proactive growers. These have been followed up with site visits and diagnostic testing to determine the cause. Fortunately these investigations have not found any new pathogens or biosecurity threats.
If a new pathogen were to enter New Zealand and affect our industry, swift action would give the best chance of minimising impacts to the industry.
All growers are encouraged to report any unusual symptoms to either KVH (0800 665 825) or their postharvest technical representative.
This week MPI announced changes to the movement controls for fruit and vegetables in the QFF Controlled Area in Grey Lynn.
These changes will enable customers to purchase fruit and vegetables from MPI-Approved Retailers within the Controlled Area that they can take outside of the Controlled Area.
Precautions are required by both MPI-Approved Retailers and customers when purchasing and selling fresh produce to avoid potentially spreading Queensland fruit fly.
These precautions include:
People will be able to identify approved retailers in the Controlled Area as they will display this MPI poster.
A list of approved retailers is also available on MPI’s website here.
Some members of the public have asked why we are so concerned about fruit flies when we see these all the time hanging around our compost bins.
Queensland fruit flies (QFF) are different from small dark brown drosophila flies (also called vinegar flies or ferment flies) that hang around ripe and decaying fruit.
The QFF is around 6–8mm in length and is brown marked with yellow. A vinegar fly is much smaller, around 2mm in length (smaller than a common sand fly).
Most drosophila flies are not agricultural pests. However, they can be a nuisance where fruit and vegetables are stored.
KVH has been working with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council to reduce the amount of wild kiwifruit establishing in the Bay of Plenty’s gullies, bush margins and production forests.
Wild kiwifruit is an environmentally damaging vine and may harbour Psa-V or other pests, which can then spread to nearby orchards. Reject fruit fed to livestock may be a potential seed-source of further wild vines, establishing when birds such as waxeyes feed on the softening fruit and distribute the seed.
A trial was undertaken by Kawerau-based Plateau Bark to see if compost could be made using reject fruit (and associated debris) mixed with pulp waste from the Norske Skog Tasman Ltd pulp and paper mill. The composted material was regularly turned and monitored. The trial was overseen by Plant and Food Research.
Temperatures within the compost piles were logged and found to be regularly above 60 degrees Celcius. Testing confirmed the end product was Psa-V ‘not-detected’ and kiwifruit seed had been destroyed during the high-temperature composting process.
KVH is now advancing the process to name Plateau Bark as a KVH-approved compost manufacturer using reject kiwifruit. Ongoing approval will depend on the compost product being consistently manufactured to prescribed standards, regularly monitored and free of Psa-V, other harmful pathogens and viable kiwifruit seed.
The relevant KVH Protocols will be amended to allow KVH-approved compost manufacturers to spread compost containing reject fruit, made to prescribed standards, onto Psa-V positive orchards in Recovery Regions.
For more information on this project, contact John Mather or Karyn Lowry at KVH on 0800 665 825.
All nurseries that sell and distribute kiwifruit plants are required to register with KVH on an annual basis. Non-registered nurseries or nurseries that have let their registration lapse cannot dispatch kiwifruit plants. A list of KVH-registered nurseries is available on the KVH website here.
To avoid supply shortages, growers need to order plants well in advance so nurseries can anticipate industry demand. Plants ordered for dispatch after 1 October 2016 must be certified under the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS).
Growers also have an obligation when purchasing plants to ensure the nursery is registered and movement controls are complied with. If you have any concerns about the plants you are purchasing this season and/or the movement controls associated with them, please call KVH to check first – 0800 665 825.
KVH Protocols state that kiwifruit plant material (budwood, pollen, rootstock etc.) and other risk items (harvest bins) must be securely covered when moving between sites/regions to reduce the risk of disease spread. Nursery plants are also required to be sprayed with copper prior to dispatch and tested for Psa-V within six weeks of movement occurring.
KVH Protocols provide protection for transit regions that have limited Psa-V infection or where Psa-V has not yet been detected.
If you are planning on moving plant material or other risk items, please check the KVH Protocols on the website. If you are unsure please give us a call – 0800 665 825.
The 2015 Psa-V Seasonal Management Guide is now available on the KVH website – click here.
This new guide provides a basis for growers to build their individual Psa-V Orchard Management Plans for the coming season.
The 2015 guide incorporates year-round advice for managing Psa-V. Previous Seasonal Management Guides have been split into Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer seasons.