We’re still in the high-risk period for BMSB, the kiwifruit industry’s second most unwanted biosecurity threat (after fruit flies) so please do continue to make use of the resources developed by KVH as part of the nationwide effort to keep this unwanted pest out.
Popular resources include a video on the KVH website from the USA, where the ever-expanding stink bug population is taking over lifestyles (it’s useful to share with staff, friends and family as everyone will be affected if it establishes here) and a simple guide to identification that you can read here on the KVH website.
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 email@example.com if you would like any further information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
KVH is so grateful for the vigilance of the members of the public who identified pests and alerted MPI. We have also had a Gisborne kiwifruit grower send through photographs of some suspicious-looking nymphs this week. Thankfully, we were able to identify these as the New Zealand native Pittosporum Shield Bug. It is great to have the support of the public in keeping these problematic pests out of New Zealand.
KVH and the other signatories who signed the Operational Agreement (OA) for fruit flies, last year agreed on the approach to readiness and response activities. While getting to this point was a significant achievement in itself, it has also led to a review of areas that can be improved.