AgResearch has been carrying out a long-term project investigating the use of bio-herbicide product Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Sclerotinia) to control pasture weeds including thistles and giant buttercup. But what are the risks to the kiwifruit industry?
Concerns were raised regarding this project to understand what, if any, would be the risks imposed to the kiwifruit industry. Therefore a risk assessment was commissioned to provide background to the Sclerotinia bio-herbicide research programme to date, an understanding of the programme activities and the risks and management of these with respect to disease caused by the fungus in kiwifruit.
The final report concludes the risk of Sclerotinia as a bio-herbicide, creating off-target increased risk of Sclerotinia infection in nearby kiwifruit orchards, is very low.
A single male Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) has been found in a MPI trap in the Auckland suburb of Grey Lynn on Monday 16 February and was identified in a MPI laboratory in the afternoon on Tuesday 17 February.
MPI has placed legal controls on the movement of fruit and some vegetables outside of a defined circular area which extends 1.5km from where the fly was trapped in Grey Lynn. The Controlled Area takes in parts of Grey Lynn, Western Springs, Mt Albert, Ponsonby and Kingsland.
Whole fresh fruit and vegetables (except for leafy vegetables and root vegetables) cannot be moved outside of the Controlled Area.
The 1.5 kilometre Controlled Area Notice does not encompass any orchards or postharvest facilities.
To date only the one male insect has been found. This does not mean that there is a breeding population of Queensland fruit fly in New Zealand. This does not represent an incursion or outbreak of the fruit flies.
Starting today, and continuing over the next three days, properties within a 200m radius of the find will be visited by MPI, fruit trees will be examined and fruit will be collected for sampling.
Details of additional traps to be placed in the Controlled Area will be shared with industry once confirmed by MPI.
This response will likely continue for at least 14 days. After 14 days, and if no further evidence of fruit fly is found, we expect the response to conclude around Wednesday 4 March 2015.
The response, as it stands, does not impact on harvest or the 20105 shipping schedule.
KVH fully supports the response actions being taken by MPI as a result of the find.
We ask for the full cooperation of the public and businesses to comply with the containment rules established by MPI and assist wherever they can.
Relevant New Zealand offshore posts have been notified by MPI of the QFF find.
There are currently no kiwifruit movements/exports happening at the moment.
As only a single male fruit fly has been found, we don’t expect any market reaction.
KVH and Pipfruit NZ are part of the response governance group and KVH have offered staff to the response.
No funding from industry will be required as cost-sharing for responses does not commence until 2017.
This year growers will notice some changes to the KVH Bulletin; the main change being a reduction to its frequency. Starting today, the KVH Bulletin will be reduced from a weekly to a fortnightly publication.
If important news comes up during the fortnight, this will be immediately communicated through a ‘Special Edition’ of the KVH Bulletin. These will also be uploaded to the KVH website and notified on the homepage.
Feedback from a targeted survey carried out in December last year suggested growers preferred a less-regular KVH Bulletin and gave some valuable feedback to improve KVH communications overall.
Other improvements include more region-specific information, more visual images and data and information on the R&D programme. These will all be provided on a regular basis through the KVH Bulletin and include links to supporting information and R&D documents.
KVH is always keen to hear from growers about ways to improve communications and all feedback will be carefully considered. Please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lara Harrison, KVH Communications
According to the latest Chilean survey carried out in November last year by SAG: Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero (Agricultural and Livestock Service), Psa has progressed further north from the Maule region into the O’Higgins region (previously not infected).
Three Chilean regions are now Psa positive:
SAG is the official Chilean State body responsible for supporting the development of Chile’s agriculture, forestry, and livestock industries by protecting and enhancing plant and animal health. They conduct annual surveys in November to report on the national progression of Psa.
Lara Harrison, KVH Communications
Northland growers are invited to a KVH grower meeting in Kerikeri next Tuesday.
Agenda items will include:
New treatment requirements for imported vehicles and machinery from the United States will help keep Brown Marmorated Stink Bug out of New Zealand, says the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Read more on MPI’s website
As a precaution to help prevent the entry of unwanted biosecurity threats, growers and orchard workers should not bring imported fruit onto orchards.
A risk assessment completed by MPI has concluded that White Peach Scale (WPS) is unlikely to establish in New Zealand as imported fruit is unlikely to come into close proximity of New Zealand orchards, a critical step in the establishment process. However if growers were to bring and dispose of imported fruit on their orchard this assumption would not hold true and the risk of establishment would increase.
MPI have recently completed a “Generic Pest Risk Assessment: Armoured Scales on the Fresh Produce Pathway”, which KVH was involved in as an external reviewer in collaboration with an expert entomologist from Plant and Food Research. Certain scale insects such as WPS are considered a significant threat to the kiwifruit industry and are often intercepted on the fresh produce pathway. KVH has a vested interest in ensuring the risks this pathway presents are accurately assessed and appropriately managed.
The Risk Assessment concluded that White peach scale has a;
KVH’s comments in the review were considered against that of the author and the other reviewer from the United States Department of Agriculture and incorporated into the final version. While KVH felt that WPS could have greater than ‘moderate’ economic impacts to the kiwifruit sector, the moderate ranking reflects potential economic impact on all crops across all sectors.
MPI’s management practices are outside the scope of this risk assessment but will be subsequently reviewed on the basis of these conclusions. KVH will be reviewing these management practices and ensuring they provide the level of protection we believe is necessary. As an industry we can all assist in reducing the likelihood of these pests entering and establishing in our orchards by taking steps to prevent imported produce being brought onto orchards and ensuring that the assumptions behind exposure and establishment hold true.
A full version of the Pest Risk Assessment is available on the MPI website, click here.
Matt Dyck, KVH Biosecurity
Coptyzin® product registration was renewed by ACVM in December 2014 resulting in two label changes to the product.
Coptyzin® is on the KVH recommended product list and holds a limited label claim for Psa.
Growers are recommended to update their Psa-V Seasonal management guide wall planner to reflect these changes.
The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) is running a photo contest to raise awareness on why preventing pests is essential for protecting agriculture and the environment.
Pictures must relate to three thematic areas: pests, the impact of pests affecting food security and the environment, and management of pests.
Click here for more information about the contest.
Lara Harrison, KVH Communications
Click here to view the full schedule for the March 2015 Zespri Grower Roadshows
Click here to view the schedule of FON field days in February.
This bi-monthly R&D update provides information about the progress over December 2014 and January 2015 for the Psa R&D programme, managed for KVH by the Zespri Innovation team.
Click here to view the report