Under the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP) growers in all regions are required to apply protective spray products with proven efficacy against Psa-V to their vines.
KVH, in conjunction with Zespri, have analysed grower spray diaries for the 2013–2014 season and it appears a number of orchards have not applied a protective spray product (see graph above). It is possible that some sprays, particularly through the dormant period, have not been entered in the spray diary.
It is important spray diaries are kept up to date and include all sprays applied to an orchard over the entire growing season. KVH will follow up with orchards that don’t appear to be applying protective sprays.
Certified kiwifruit plants under the ‘Core Standard’ of the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) are now available for growers to order.
The first two nurseries selling KPCS certified plants are now listed on the KVH website. Two more nurseries also being audited under the Core Standard are awaiting testing results and are expected to be included on this list shortly.
A list of kiwifruit nurseries including those who are now part of the KPCS, is available on the KVH website here. Purchasing certified plants gives growers assurance they are investing in the best possible start for their new vines. Growers are reminded to order plants well in advance to ensure that nurseries can meet industry demands.
KVH have engaged Sapere, an independent organisation to develop a report on the industry response to the Psa-V incursion, including lessons learnt and potential future improvements. The findings and recommendations from the report will be used for future biosecurity planning.
A number of key industry people have been identified to potentially assist Sapere with the report and these people will be contacted in due course.
KVH will keep industry updated with the development of the report and will publish once complete.
Last week KVH staff visited the Auckland Biosecurity Centre to see first-hand MPI’s detector dog programme.
MPI have their own detector dog breeding programme which is a cost effective way of producing fit for purpose biosecurity detector dogs. The breeding programme now has 40 dog teams operating throughout New Zealand at various ports of entry.
MPI now have detector dogs at all cruise ship first port of arrivals and many second port of arrivals. Detector dogs are now used to screen disembarking passengers from 150 cruise ships. This has resulted in the seizure of 500 risk items, of which 76 percent was fresh produce (of particular concern given its capacity to host fruit fly).
Detector dogs have been a fundamental component of biosecurity interventions at the border for many years. MPI is now also working to train a new line of dogs for a different purpose, post-border incursions. These incursion dogs can be used in the field and trained to detect any pest and may be especially useful for pests for which there are no pheromone traps available.
Photo: Darcy, a three month old beagle from the breeding programme who is likely to become a biosecurity detector dog.
Following the discovery of Psa-V in New Zealand in 2010, the Import Health Standard (IHS) for pollen was immediately amended by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to prohibit the import of kiwifruit pollen. To date, the importation of pollen into New Zealand remains prohibited as the potential risk of introducing further variants of Psa-V and other pathogens is unknown.
After KVH raised concerns about the possibility of Psa-V impacting male kiwifruit vines and creating a pollen shortage, MPI was asked if there was a safe way to import pollen.
MPI sought input from a Technical Working Group made up of experts from the kiwifruit (incl. KVH, Zespri and other independents), bee and pollen industries. The aim of this Working Group and subsequent MPI analysis was to determine the risk posed by imported pollen; and the potential to import it, preferably in emergency situations only (e.g. if there were to be a significant shortage of pollen in New Zealand).
MPI have drafted an assessment of the potential for Psa to be associated with imported pollen and the potential consequences if Psa (Psa-V or other variants) was to enter and establish in New Zealand. Other pathogens which may also be associated with imported pollen, and which may impact on the kiwifruit or bee industries have been identified by MPI, but have not yet been assessed.
Following a meeting of the Working Group in mid-July, MPI is currently concluding its assessment of Psa and KVH expects an update on the assessment from MPI in the next couple of weeks. KVH believes it is very unlikely this process will result in the imported pollen ban being lifted as other pathogens associated with pollen still require careful assessment.
While New Zealand does not currently have a pollen shortage, a bad Psa year could possibly impact future pollen supply.
Therefore its essential growers plan ahead for future pollination requirements.
In the past 15 years, several dozen brown marmorated stink bugs have been intercepted at the New Zealand border, usually hailing from the United States, although the pest is native to China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan rather than the Americas.
Click here to read the full article on NZ Farmer.
Last week KVH held an audit debrief with packhouses; and as a result some changes have been made to KVH Protocol—Fruit Bins.
The main change allows postharvest operators in Recovery regions to have their cleaned and sanitised bins (destined for Whangarei, Kerikeri and NW Auckland) inspected by KVH now—before being placed in sealed coolstores for next harvest. This will avoid double-handling and save packhouses time and expense.
A KVH inspection sticker will be attached to checked bins so growers can identify them on arrival to the orchard next harvest. A percentage of these bins will again be inspected by KVH before being dispatched to orchards next season.