Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has received a Psa-V positive test result on Hort16A and male vines on a kiwifruit orchard in Whangarei. This is the first confirmed case of Psa-V on an orchard in the Whangarei region.
All growers in the region have been advised of the situation by KVH, including best-practice advice going forward. KVH will hold a meeting for Whangarei growers next week and will be carrying out extensive monitoring in the region over the weekend.
There are a total of 49 orchards in the Whangarei region comprising of approximately 144 canopy hectares.
KVH Chief Executive, Barry O’Neil, said this new find in Whangarei is very disappointing and will be particularly hard for local growers and the regional committee.
“Whangarei growers and the regional committee have done a fantastic job at keeping Psa-V out of the region for more than four years. The fact Whangarei is located between two positive regions, and is only now being confirmed with Psa-V, is testament to the highly proactive approach they have taken over the last few years.”
“However, it has been a cold, wet winter and spring is always a nervous wait as we start to see what effect the winter has had on orchards. This spring KVH has had reporting of more widespread infection in all positive regions – worse than the last couple of years so this result in Whangarei is not entirely unexpected.”
“Based on the symptoms found—dieback and exudate—it’s likely the disease has been in the area for some time and the symptoms are now starting to show.”
“Every grower in every region should be proactively monitoring their vines and maintaining a robust spray programme this spring to protect their orchards as much as possible.”
Growers in the Whangarei area are advised the following.
Annual mandatory monitoring for growers in Exclusion and Containment regions and also ‘Not Detected’ orchards in Recovery regions is required to be carried out between 15 September and 15 October with reporting due to KVH by 31 October 2015.
An online reporting tool is available on the KVH website, allowing growers to submit monitoring results directly to KVH. Click here to access this tool and for more information about mandatory monitoring requirements in your region.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is asking Auckland residents to hang in there for just a few more months while it completes its programme to eradicate a small population of Queensland fruit fly in Grey Lynn.
Fruit flies tend to be inactive over winter and as a result response activities died down. However as the weather warms up, any fruit flies that managed to survive the earlier treatment blitz will become active and able to be trapped in MPI’s extensive network of lure traps.
Therefore MPI has resumed more frequent checking of the surveillance traps in the A Zone of the Controlled Area, closer to where the original flies were found.
While MPI is confident of success in the fruit fly eradication, it needs these next couple of months of trapping to verify this. At this stage, they are hoping to declare eradication and end the movement controls on fruit and vegetables before Christmas.
Click here to read MPI’s full press release.
Flags are topical at the moment. Our regional FLAG in the Bay of Plenty is the ‘Freight and Logistics Action Group’, a forum that brings together all the key players from across the BOP logistics sector (road, rail, port, shipping, importers, post-harvest, exporters etc.) to take action together to support economic growth in the region.
FLAG’s leadership has sought to raise awareness and understanding of biosecurity and approached KVH to assist with this. Last week KVH led a workshop with FLAG members on ‘logistics implications of a biosecurity event’. This included exploring potential impacts and scenarios should we experience a medium or large scale biosecurity event in the BOP, and how the logistics sector can better prepare for this.
The logistics sector in the BOP employs more than 4000 full time staff who cart biosecurity risk goods around the region and country, and have a critical role to play in looking out for and reporting potential biosecurity risks. In an event such as a fruit fly incursion, the logistics sector has a critical role to play – critical to our ability to export.
KVH thanks Zespri, Ministry for Primary Industries and Forest Owners Association staff who also contributed to the workshop, and acknowledges the proactive approach the BOP logistics sector is taking to lift its focus on biosecurity.
While this particular workshop had a regional focus, it has elevated wider opportunity for MPI and GIA partners to work more closely with the freight and logistics sector at a national level.
With indications of higher levels of Psa-V this spring growers are urged to develop a robust protective spray programme best suited to their orchards.
Prior to bud-break apply a winter rate of copper to protect buds as they crack and move through the early bud phase period. In most regions vines will now be at or beyond this phase (see image).
Following bud-break, copper remains the preferred product as it is highly effective against Psa-V and provides persistent protection to canes and young tissue. Summer rates of copper are recommended and apply sprays in suitable weather.
Reapplication of copper at regular intervals will make sure all young tissue remains protected prior to high risk weather periods. Refer to the KVH Psa-V Risk Model. Sprays should be based around weather and take into consideration the rate of shoot growth.
This spring many growers are reporting higher levels of symptoms than seen for the past two seasons. Monitor to check the level of Psa-V infection within blocks to help decide if bactericides might be needed.
Bactericides might be considered if Psa-V is present and specific risk events like equinox gales, hail or frost occur.
Bactericides have additional use conditions this season so plan ahead to ensure these are met.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) recently announced its plans to beef up biosecurity on incoming cruise ships – a move fully supported by KVH.
Cruise ships entering New Zealand waters are from Australia or the Pacific Islands—regions harbouring high-risk pests and diseases including fruit flies, which are the greatest biosecurity threat to New Zealand’s horticultural industries.
KVH is also advocating for all fruit and vegetables loaded onto New Zealand-bound cruise vessels to meet New Zealand import standards. This means the produce would have the same status as fruit and vegetables bought from local supermarkets and carry minimal biosecurity risk.
More than 100 growers attended yesterday’s Psa-V spring update meeting in Te Puke.
Click here to watch a video of the meeting in including the presentations.
Key messages from for the upcoming season:
Growers were also presented with a technical update on streptomycin resistance and management of bud-rot in green varieties through a 30-day pre-flowering girdle.
Key messages about pre-flowering girdling:
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.