January provides a good time to reflect on the year that has passed, as well as look forward to the year ahead. 2017 will be a big year for KVH, as we work towards our goal of a biosecurity resilient kiwifruit industry.
KVH congratulates Riversun Nursery owner, Geoff Thorpe, who was made an Officer of The New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the New Year Honours list.
New Zealand imports a range of fruit over the summer period to complement what we produce here. While measures are in place to prevent entry of pests and diseases on this pathway, we can strengthen the system and further reduce the risk by not taking imported fruit into orchards or discarding waste material near vines.
KVH has this week welcomed Dr Sonia Whiteman as an Associate Board Director, replacing Lorry Leydon who sat on the Board for two years. We thank Lorry for his service and look forward to his reflections on his time with KVH in the next bulletin.
Sonia is the General Manager of Apata GROW - Apata's Orchard Management division. She has a technical background in horticulture including a Bachelor of Horticulture Science (with first class honours in plant protection) and a doctorate in plant diseases.
Sonia's career has spanned 20 years, moving from Academia into Commerce, with a focus on accessing innovative science to support the various agriculture sectors.
Biosecurity is a subject close to Sonia's heart, having been in technical roles supporting growers during two major incursions. The first was the 2006 tomato/potato psyllid incursion and the associated bacterial disease liberibacter, followed by Psa in kiwifruit in 2010. Both events emphasised to Sonia the importance of industry awareness of biosecurity threats to ensure preparedness and support early detection.
"The reality of the situation is that raising the profile of biosecurity is challenging. Growers find it difficult to turn their mind to something that isn’t happening, or hasn't happened yet, when there are so many things that need to be dealt with right now. However, a major pest incursion is, in my view, the greatest threat facing the future success of our industry, so we need to understand these threats and be ready to act decisively and effectively if or when they are realised".
Sonia is excited about the opportunity to work with the KVH Board and staff to help advance the kiwifruit industry’s state of readiness.
Summer in New Zealand means high-risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) hitchhiking in packages, luggage, cargo and on people - potentially getting past our border and making a home here.
It is important that everyone understands the seriousness of a BMSB invasion, as it is not just a horticultural pest but a real lifestyle pest as well. Not only will they ruin crops and gardens, they will also infest buildings and houses. BMSB likes to hide in dark spaces, cracks and crevices – so keep an eye out for them and if you think you’ve found one – CATCH IT, SNAP IT, REPORT IT to 0800 80 99 66.
Check out this video from the USA, where the ever-expanding BMSB population is taking over lifestyles. Share this video with your friends and family as everyone will be affected by this pest if it was to establish in New Zealand