New Zealand is now into the third season with Giant Willow Aphid (GWA) and the New Zealand Poplar and Willow Research Trust have field experiments in place to help evaluate the effect of GWA in New Zealand.
GWA colonises both tree and non-tree willows (shrub and osier) with the rate of colony growth differing between willow species.
Any information on which willow(s) are affected, age of affected trees, potential stressors on the affected willows and impacts such as reduced growth or yellowing or dropping leaves, helps add to the understanding of the impacts of this pest across the country.
Reporting of any situations where insecticide spraying has improved willow health is also useful.
Populations are now on the rise with a few cases of GWA recently reported from kiwifruit orchards in the Nelson region.
Growers are asked to look out for GWA and contact Sylvia Warren at Zespri if they are seeing this pest in their orchards – email email@example.com.
Click here for more information on the giant willow aphid.
KVH staff recently visited Gisborne and Hawkes Bay orchards that were confirmed Psa-V positive for the first time through spring 2015.
Since 1 August 2015 an additional 14 orchards from Gisborne and five from Hawkes Bay have tested Psa-V positive.
Blocks showing symptoms last year were also revisited to understand the challenges growers had faced over the past six months.
Cold, wet spring conditions and in particular, damaging southerly winds, were considered the most likely drivers of new infections within the regions.
Growers converting from Hort16A to Gold3 with colder sites or more severely infected stumps, experienced difficulty achieving high winter graft success (pictured above). Re-grafting continued through summer and multiple grafts to the same stump and/or suckers have been completed.
Poor synchronisation of male and female flowers in some Gold3 blocks have been a concern, particularly for Gisborne growers. The need to stock pollen for artificial pollination and the importance of good male management was discussed. Male grafts on Bounty rootstock, autumn trunk-girdling of males to bring flowering forward and male management to provide a range of cane types to spread flowering timing, were all strategies thought worthy of trialling.
Two growers with young Gold3 blocks that suffered up to 20% canopy cut-out due to Psa-V through spring, identified the need to take care when managing strung cane through the autumn period. Both growers believed cane damage, and possibly poor tool hygiene during autumn work led to spring infection.
It was pleasing to see the level of proactive management in place and the high standard of hygiene being enforced by growers in general.
The KVH team also presented autumn Psa-V messages at the Zespri OPC field days, and reminded growers that a more proactive Psa-V management programme in autumn can lead to reduced symptoms in spring.
Click here for KVH’s field day notes on the KVH website.
KVH staff recently attended a workshop, hosted by Honour McCann (Massey University) and Plant & Food Research to observe the development of a new rapid test for Psa that can be done in the field.
The test uses LAMP technology which is being developed for a number of pathogens and has the potential to deliver a diagnostic result within around 30 minutes in the field.
Workshop participants had the opportunity to use the test in the field on a Psa-affected orchard, to see how quickly and easily results could be produced. This test is not yet commercially available and still requires further development. However, it is good insight into tools that may be available to us in the near future. These tools may have applications for biosecurity surveillance and response.
This workshop illustrated one example of a field diagnostic test, the LAMP assay. However, we are aware that there are several other techniques being developed by other organisations in New Zealand and offshore. A group of scientists also visited Te Puke Plant and Food Research Centre this week to test another field deployable Psa field assay system.
Photo: (L-R) Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy, MPI dog handler Niina Edgar with Ayla the beagle, KVH Chairman Peter Ombler and KVH Chief Executive Barry O’Neil at this morning’s launch at Port of Tauranga.
More than 50 leaders from Bay of Plenty industries and organisations came together this morning with the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, and Minister of Trade, Todd McClay, to celebrate the official launch of ‘biosecurity operational excellence’ at Port of Tauranga (POTL).
Guests were given an overview of the initiative and gained a good insight into the innovative ways Bay of Plenty industries and government are working together to better understand biosecurity risk at Port of Tauranga and to raise awareness amongst the Port community.
The group also observed the passenger biosecurity screening process of incoming cruise ship ‘The Arcadia’ where detector dog Ayla went to work sniffing out food risk items from more than 2000 disembarking passengers. The Arcadia arrived from Tahiti and Tauranga was its first port of call.
The project, which started as an exercise to better understand biosecurity risks at POTL, has a working group made up of committed Bay of Plenty sectors. They are:
The programme is tailored to organisms and particular imported goods and pathways relevant to the Bay of Plenty. However, the vision has always been to develop this approach as a national model.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has released a new biosecurity inflight video that plays on arriving international flights before landing in New Zealand.
To engage passengers, the video is humorous, yet still delivers the serious message of biosecurity and what passengers need to do once they arrive in New Zealand.
The video has been translated into seven different languages, including a dubbed-over Chinese version.
The video is part of MPI’s wider market programme to encourage arriving passengers to “declare or dispose” biosecurity risk goods before they enter New Zealand or face a $400 fine.
Click here to watch the video.
Keep up to date with MPI’s latest biosecurity news through ‘The Border Space’ – MPI’s quarterly newsletter updating New Zealanders on what’s happening at our borders.
The latest issue includes: information about the Zika virus and what is in place to reduce the risk of it entering NZ; a new phone App designed for incoming cruise ship passengers to educate them on what to do when entering NZ; how the new border levy has been operating since its introduction on 1 January 2016; celebrating 24 new detector dog teams; and other interesting stats and facts on border security.
Click here to read The Border Space.