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Biosecurity News
12 July 2018
Putting the Samurai Wasp case forward at hearing
12 July 2018
KVH spoke on behalf of the kiwifruit industry at an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) hearing yesterday, cementing support to release the Samurai Wasp in the event of a Brown Marmorated Stink...
Putting the Samurai Wasp case forward at hearing
12 July 2018

KVH spoke on behalf of the kiwifruit industry at an Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) hearing yesterday, cementing support to release the Samurai Wasp in the event of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) incursion.

The hearing is the final step in the application process to introduce the wasp as part of eradication or control efforts if an established population of BMSB is found here.

KVH Biosecurity Manager, Matt Dyck, presented with a focus on the importance of the kiwifruit industry to the local and national economy (now and into the future); the potentially devastating impact of BMSB; and the reasoning for why the wasp is viewed as the best overall control tool available. The EPA will be making all hearing presentations available to the public shortly. Please contact KVH if you would like to know more about what was discussed at the hearing. 

From here, the decision-making group will consider the application (not open to the public) and a decision is expected by mid-August. The EPA has previously released their staff assessment report, which recommends the decision-making group approve the application.

The application was made to the EPA by KVH, Horticulture NZ and other horticultural industry groups through the BMSB Council as part of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA).

Biosecurity News
12 July 2018
Remove unpicked kiwifruit from vines
12 July 2018
Growers are reminded that there must now be no unpicked kiwifruit left on vines. Under the National Psa Pest Management Plan (NPMP) it is a requirement that all orchard vines must have picked fruit...
Remove unpicked kiwifruit from vines
12 July 2018

Growers are reminded that there must now be no unpicked kiwifruit left on vines. Under the National Psa Pest Management Plan (NPMP) it is a requirement that all orchard vines must have picked fruit by 1 July each year.  KVH will follow-up reports of unpicked fruit with orchard owners and post-harvest companies.

Unpicked fruit can result in an increase of the amount of wild kiwifruit vines establishing in nearby areas of native bush or exotic forestry as fruit ripening over the winter months provides a food source for birds, which spread seed. Unmanaged vines, including those with unpicked fruit, may also be a potential host for plant disease organisms.

Biosecurity News
12 July 2018
Add the chill calculator to your weather risk toolbox
12 July 2018
The Psa Risk Model is an online, weather-based decision support system, that assists with orchard management in a Psa environment. It includes actual weather station data and weather forecast details...
Add the chill calculator to your weather risk toolbox
12 July 2018

The Psa Risk Model is an online, weather-based decision support system, that assists with orchard management in a Psa environment. It includes actual weather station data and weather forecast details to provide customised access to unique disease information and interpretations that help growers target low risk periods for orchard activities such as pruning and grafting.

Ten-day forecasts can be viewed. Looking ahead Northland, Auckland, Coromandel, Waikato and Katikati have severe risk forecast for at least six of the next 10 days while the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawkes Bay weather stations typically predict three or four days of severe risk. Overall though, across the country the risk seldom falls below moderate and growers should ensure good hygiene practice is in place to reduce the risk of infection transfer across orchards.

Growers are also reminded of the easy to use winter chill unit calculator available on the KVH website (accompanied by a short online video demonstrating what it can provide). This calculator allows growers to check how winter chill is progressing and compare chill hours across the past four years for a range of weather station locations.

Click here to access the KVH weather tools. Please note, growers must be registered with the KVH website to use the tools – if you haven’t already done so, please register now.

Image: Katikati chill calculator from the KVH website weather tools.  

Biosecurity News
12 July 2018
Winter workshops with Hawkes Bay growers
12 July 2018
This week KVH attended the OPC winter Pitstop event in the Hawkes Bay, and ran a short workshop with growers on the value of good records for all plant material movements on and off their orchards....
Winter workshops with Hawkes Bay growers
12 July 2018

This week KVH attended the OPC winter Pitstop event in the Hawkes Bay, and ran a short workshop with growers on the value of good records for all plant material movements on and off their orchards. Growers considered how well they currently record budwood, plant and pollen movements, and whether they thought they could trace these across current and previous years.

KVH highlighted the fact that many high-risk diseases are spread by human intervention with symptoms unseen until some time after disease transfer. Monitoring for the unusual and good traceability were both seen as cornerstones of good biosecurity and steps every grower could take to protect their valuable orchard asset.

KVH also visited orchards to discuss Psa infection removal during winter pruning. In blocks where Psa was more widespread growers had monitored and tagged exudate and large cankers for removal ahead of the main pruning team. Staff familiar with symptoms focussed on good tool hygiene, ensuring wounds were being well protected. Provision of two sets of pruning tools, sanitiser to rest tools not in use, and wire brushes to clear blades of plant material were seen as a strong insurance in reducing infection transfer.

Read the KVH winter View the winter flyer on protecting your investment and managing biosecurity risks here.

Image: tagged Psa exudate and canker on a Hawkes Bay orchard.

Biosecurity News
12 July 2018
Learning more about copper resistance and implications on-orchard
12 July 2018
KVH and Zespri, along with science partners, have been focussed on learning more about copper resistance over the years and we have made great progress in our understanding of this complex subject...
Learning more about copper resistance and implications on-orchard
12 July 2018

KVH and Zespri, along with science partners, have been focussed on learning more about copper resistance over the years and we have made great progress in our understanding of this complex subject area. A science workshop was held early July to discuss latest research results and further requirements, with the aim of answering the question: “How does our knowledge from the laboratory translate to the field?”

Participants in the workshop came from Otago University, Massey University, Plant and Food Research, Hills Laboratories, and Verified Lab services as well as KVH and Zespri. 

Russel Poulter from Otago University presented DNA sequencing results from more than 100 Psa samples that were collected from across North Island growing regions. The main learnings from this work show that there are low level resistant Psa bacteria with some resistance to copper present in all North Island regions. The mechanisms leading to resistance are present in other bacteria and are transferring to Psa. To date, approximately eight different resistance mechanisms have been identified with the most common ones present in all regions. Some of the mechanisms are very efficient at transferring from other bacteria in the environment to Psa (leading to an increased presence of these strains) while other forms are less efficient and less prevalent.

Joel Vanneste from Plant and Food presented the results of an intensive study carried out on a Te Puke orchard where young kiwifruit plants were placed in 10 different locations in the canopy at different times throughout the year and Psa bacteria on each plant was analysed.  The learnings showed there is huge variability in forms of low level resistance present on-orchard and between locations, even within the same orchard. Both low-level resistant and non-resistant strains can be readily present at a location - even on the one leaf. Multiple resistance mechanisms can also be present at the one location.

Copper spraying at recommended rates is still effective at killing Psa strains with resistance mechanisms. Timing of spray application and weather conditions can have a big impact on the efficacy of copper use. Further analysis of the samples collected is planned to provide more information, which along with additional research will help us in reviewing our recommendations around copper spraying.

Advice for growers on how to reduce the potential for copper resistant bacteria to impact copper spray efficacy is:

·        ensure full label rates are used and good canopy coverage is obtained (the use of spreaders will assist improved coverage),

·        look to alternate copper use with other protectant sprays when timing permits,

-      extending the timing between copper sprays when risks of Psa are lower (hot, drier weather) may help reduce resistant populations as a percentage of total Psa populations.  

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Bug hunting bonanza in Italy
28 June 2018
New video from Italy shows the impact of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) on kiwifruit and just how easy it is for big numbers of the bug to infest fruit and plants. Professor Max Suckling from...
Bug hunting bonanza in Italy
28 June 2018

New video from Italy shows the impact of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) on kiwifruit and just how easy it is for big numbers of the bug to infest fruit and plants.

Professor Max Suckling from Plant and Food Research and the University of Auckland is working with local colleagues in Italy, where the BMSB is working its way through horticultural crops like kiwifruit, apples, pears, corn and other crops. His projects include gaining practical experience with traps and aggregation pheromone lures for surveillance and suppression, as well as further evaluation of the potential for the sterile insect technique to be used in the event of an incursion into New Zealand.

The research team at Fondazione Edmund Mach near Trento in the north of Italy are working on an exciting new lead against stink bugs. These bugs use low frequency sound to communicate with each other, which the team are trying to redirect and use against the bugs to disrupt mating, in a similar concept to how pheromone traps work for other pests.

As you can see in the video, which includes an interview with an expert from the local plant protection service, there is no shortage of adult and smaller bugs congregating, feeding and causing damage to fruit, leaves, and stems – a reminder of why we must continue to do all we can to keep this pest out.

Learn more about the BMSB on the KVH website.

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Know what to look for - free handy magnets
28 June 2018
As we mentioned in the last Bulletin, KVH was at Fieldays this year talking about the importance of biosecurity and the magnets we had to give away were very popular – people have told us they...
Know what to look for - free handy magnets
28 June 2018

As we mentioned in the last Bulletin, KVH was at Fieldays this year talking about the importance of biosecurity and the magnets we had to give away were very popular – people have told us they find the image of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) good to keep nearby so that they know exactly what to look out for.

We still have a few of these BMSB magnets left so please feel free to email us at info@kvh.org.nz if you’d like some sent to you for work, home, staff, contractors or even a community event that you think would find them useful so that we can help spread the important message about knowing what to look out for and what to do if one of these bugs is found.

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Grafting? Protect your investment
28 June 2018
A reminder to all growers considering grafting this winter to protect their orchard investments by following good biosecurity rules. These apply whether grafting one plant, one hectare or a whole new...
Grafting? Protect your investment
28 June 2018

A reminder to all growers considering grafting this winter to protect their orchard investments by following good biosecurity rules. These apply whether grafting one plant, one hectare or a whole new development block.

·         Select budwood from the cleanest source, or from within your own orchard.

·         Budwood can be moved between properties owned by the same legal entity within the same Psa region. Contact KVH for all other movements – permissions may be required.

·         KPINs supplying budwood off their orchard must register annually and complete a simple budwood risk management plan.  

·         Keep records of budwood source and where budwood is used. An orchard map is a good way of meeting GAP requirement.

·         All other distributors of budwood, such as packhouses and grafters should check their requirements with KVH. Email info@kvh.org.nz or phone 0800 665 825. 

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Samurai submissions publicly available
28 June 2018
Views that were put forward on the application to introduce the Samurai Wasp into New Zealand - in the event of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) incursion - have been released and can be read...
Samurai submissions publicly available
28 June 2018

Views that were put forward on the application to introduce the Samurai Wasp into New Zealand - in the event of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) incursion - have been released and can be read online.

The submissions made to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) are from a wide ranging group of people and organisations from across the horticultural system and are generally in support of the application. The kiwifruit industry is well represented with views presented from KVH, Zespri, NZKGI, ISG (Kiwifruit Industry Supply Group), Maori Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, post-harvest and many growers. This is an excellent effort and we thank all those who have contributed in this process.

The EPA has also released their staff assessment report, which recommends the decision-making group approve the application and grants a conditional release approval with controls. The controls are designed to manage the use of the Samurai Wasp, specify when the organism can be released, and who may use the approval and state for example that the wasp can only be released when a BMSB incursion is detected, and only at the location of the incursion.  

The next step in the process is a hearing where those who made submissions and indicated they were interested in presenting their case publicly can do so. KVH will be speaking at the hearing, currently scheduled to run over two days in mid-July.  From there, the decision-making group will consider the application (not open to the public) and a decision is expected by mid-August.

The application was made to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) by KVH, Horticulture NZ and other horticultural industry groups through the BMSB Council as part of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA). The stink bug is one of the biggest biosecurity threats we face, and it could cause hundreds of millions of dollars of losses. The Samurai Wasp provides an opportunity to be proactive in our approach and gives us another tool we can use to control the stink bug. Read more about the application on the KVH website.

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Working across the country to tell our biosecurity story
28 June 2018
Last week KVH took part in a gathering of communications staff from across the biosecurity system who have set up a Biosecurity Communication Network (BCN) to make sure there is a national,...
Working across the country to tell our biosecurity story
28 June 2018

Last week KVH took part in a gathering of communications staff from across the biosecurity system who have set up a Biosecurity Communication Network (BCN) to make sure there is a national, system-wide approach for clearly and collaboratively sharing information.

By combining forces and working together this group will help share with the public, businesses, and media, stories from our industries about the biosecurity work we are doing and how everyone can play a part in protecting our livelihood, our lifestyle, our economy and unique environment. This will mean more people and organisations will learn and know about biosecurity risks, what they can do and why it is their responsibility.

Around 50 communicators attended the event from primary industries, regional councils, Maori, tourism, research organisations, government agencies, and universities. With KVH and Zespri representing the kiwifruit industry on this national group our work will be magnified, and we can influence the information and stories that are told about the kiwifruit industry’s biosecurity initiatives. 


KVH, NZKGI, Zespri and post-harvest representatives also have an industry communications group in place that regularly meet to share key information about biosecurity, key messages, and response plans for pest and disease threats.

Biosecurity News
28 June 2018
Problem Pukeko
28 June 2018
KVH receives occasional complaints that pūkeko numbers have built up and birds are getting into the orchard canopy and snipping off shoots in spring or feeding on ripening fruit before...
Problem Pukeko
28 June 2018

KVH receives occasional complaints that pūkeko numbers have built up and birds are getting into the orchard canopy and snipping off shoots in spring or feeding on ripening fruit before harvest.  They may also pull out or damage seedlings of many plant species.

Pūkeko are partially protected and held in fond regard by many, so be sure that pūkeko are causing the problem.  Also consider that it may be very difficult to effectively reduce pūkeko populations if there are wetlands, damp pasture or urban areas near your orchard.

If you do need to reduce pūkeko populations in your orchard, consider the following options:

·         Scare them out of your orchard with occasional bird-scare blasts, pyrotechnics or blank shotgun ammunition.  Ensure you have a firearm licence and comply with all regulations.  Don’t use firearms near urban areas and consider informing neighbours or local police in any area.

·         In spring, consider the use of bird repellent sprays.  There are strict conditions regarding the time and rate of application.

·         Pūkeko can be shot in the gamebird hunting season.  Comply with all Fish and Game hunting regulations including type of firearm.  If you are not the owner or occupier of the property, you will require a game licence.  Follow all firearm safety rules.  Firearms should not be discharged in an orchard prior to picking. If you have to shoot them, you can be more effective by taking out the lead bird.  Pūkeko are smart and move around in family groups, the matriarch or patriarch can usually be identified by careful observation prior to the shoot. 

·         You must apply for a permit from Fish and Game if controlling pūkeko at any time out of a hunting season.

·         If a perpetual problem, consider covering your orchard with netting.

Biosecurity News
14 June 2018
Remove flowering Pampas from kiwifruit orchards
14 June 2018
There has been an increase in the numbers of pampas seed detected on fruit this packing season.  Any seed attached to fruit is a reject factor and may cause market access issues if found within...
Remove flowering Pampas from kiwifruit orchards
14 June 2018

There has been an increase in the numbers of pampas seed detected on fruit this packing season.  Any seed attached to fruit is a reject factor and may cause market access issues if found within a shipment or container.  All seed contaminating fruit has been from the very invasive South American plant, Pampas. 

Pampas is well-established in most regions where kiwifruit is grown and is now in full-flower. The seeds (more than 100,000 per flowerhead) will be dispersed by strong winds - any Pampas growing in or adjacent to kiwifruit orchards can cause problems. If Pampas is established in your orchard or shelter belt, cut down and destroy the flowerheads now. Plants can be dug out or removed by a digger or controlled with glyphosate herbicide.  A surfactant/spreader must be added to the herbicide mixture. Do not attempt to spray Pampas in an orchard if fruit is still on vines.

Pampas is different from the native Toetoe in that Pampas grows faster and is a very invasive plant; it flowers in autumn rather than spring; is more robust and has an upright growth habit rather than the more prostrate Toetoe; and produces a different shaped, larger flowerhead (cone-shaped rather than the limp flag-like flower of the native Toetoe). View a table listing all differences.


KVH will be talking to regional councils, road and rail authorities to request more pampas control, especially along the road and rail corridors.

Email John Mather
at KVH if you would like any further information.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

Suite 3, Level 1, Customhouse Building
314 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
(entrance cnr Totara and Rata Street)
PO Box 4246, Mount Maunganui, 3149
New Zealand

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz