In May 2014 a plant virus in the family Betaflexiviridae was detected in kiwifruit vines held in Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ). MPI investigated this detection and concluded that the organism presents a low to zero biosecurity risk and have classified it as non-regulated organism (meaning it is not under official control).
Testing of plant material imported from the same region in China indicated the virus was present in historically imported seed possibly going back as far as 1996.
Some plants released to Plant & Food Research (PFR) in Te Puke from the same import permit tested positive for Betaflexiviridae. However, wider testing on other PFR operations in Motueka and Kerikeri, where plants were sourced from similar origins, tested negative.
KVH and PFR have worked alongside MPI in this investigation and jointly funded a significant amount of research to better understand the organism, its distribution and means of spread.
A small number of plants known to be infected with Betaflexiviridae have been removed.
A fact sheet on Betaflexiviridae is available on the KVH website here.
Spring is a good time to review your existing Psa-V Orchard Management Plan to ensure it’s up to date with the latest Psa-V management practices you are implementing on your orchard.
An updated Orchard Management Plan must be available with other GAP records as part of the GAP audit process.
Online templates to assist growers with their Psa-V Orchard Management Plans are available on the KVH website here.
September marks the beginning of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) season. Between now and the end of April one of kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted pests is at high-risk of entering New Zealand and growers are urged to keep an eye out for this pest this season.
The BMSB is a hitchhiker pest and likely to enter New Zealand’s border on inanimate objects such as shipping containers, passenger luggage and express freight or courier items.
Improved public surveillance and early detection is the best chance of keeping it out and ensuring it does not establish in New Zealand.
If you suspect you have found a BMSB, catch it and call the MPI pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.