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Biosecurity News
8 March 2018
Latest BMSB finds
8 March 2018
There have been more than 1500 Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found at the border since the start of the high-risk season in September. More detail can be read in the February KVH risk update,...
Latest BMSB finds
8 March 2018

There have been more than 1500 Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found at the border since the start of the high-risk season in September.

More detail can be read in the February
KVH risk update, which includes latest data reported by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and information about activities involving KVH to make sure that everything possible is being done to manage the threat posed by this unwanted pest.

Throughout February and March there have been several media reports regarding car ships from Japan containing significant numbers of stink bugs – BMSB and Yellow Spotted Stink Bug (YSSB). KVH has been strongly promoting the need to treat vehicles offshore so we don’t have this problem.

Our best chance at keeping New Zealand free of these pests, if they get past the border, is to detect any incursions early and that’s where the public play a vital role. KVH has been busy ensuring not only growers are aware of these pests, but also those most likely to encounter them and within the last fortnight we have distributed information about stink bugs to the vehicle import industry and visited larger local importers in person to discuss what to be on the lookout for and the serious impacts on the New Zealand economy should these bugs establish here. We’ve also visited local Transitional Facilities and sent posters, magnets and fact sheets to backpackers and hostels that host international visitors/seasonal workers for the kiwifruit industry.

Fact sheets about the brown and yellow stink bugs are available on the KVH website, along with videos about the impacts they have on not just orchards but also homes and lifestyles.

The New Yorker magazine also published a great feature article this week on the impacts BMSB is having on homes in the USA. Here's a teaser:

One October night a few years back, Pam Stone was downstairs watching television with her partner, Paul Zimmerman, when it struck her that their house was unusually cold. Stone and Zimmerman live just outside Landrum, South Carolina, in an A-frame cabin; upstairs in their bedroom, French doors lead out to a raised deck. That week, autumn had finally descended on the Carolinas, killing off the mosquitoes and sending nighttime temperatures plummeting, and the previous evening the couple had opened those doors a crack to take advantage of the cool air. Now, sitting in front of the TV, Stone suddenly realized that she’d left them open and went up to close them.

Zimmerman was still downstairs when he heard her scream. He sprinted up to join her, and the two of them stood in the doorway, aghast. Their bedroom walls were crawling with insects—not dozens of them but hundreds upon hundreds. Stone knew what they were, because she’d seen a few around the house earlier that year and eventually posted a picture of one on Facebook and asked what it was. That’s a stinkbug, a chorus of people had told her—specifically, a brown marmorated stinkbug. Huh, Stone had thought at the time. Never heard of them. Now they were covering every visible surface of her bedroom.

“It was like a horror movie,” Stone recalled.

Read the full-length article ‘When Twenty-Six Thousand Stinkbugs Invade Your Home’.

The risk period for BMSB stretches out for a few weeks yet so remember to be on the lookout and report anything unusual. 

Biosecurity News
8 March 2018
Report confirms devastating impact of BMSB on horticulture
8 March 2018
A new economic report says if the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) established in New Zealand it would dramatically impact New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) as well as export revenues...
Report confirms devastating impact of BMSB on horticulture
8 March 2018

A new economic report says if the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) established in New Zealand it would dramatically impact New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) as well as export revenues from horticulture.

Prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), 
Quantifying the economic impacts of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug incursion in New Zealand, shows GDP falling between $1.8 billion and $3.6 billion by 2038, and horticulture export value falling between $2 billion and $4.2 billion by 2038.

Super pests like the BMSB present a significant threat to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry and are considered one of our greatest risks. For our industry alone, the establishment of such a pest could result in production impacts in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.

The report was commissioned by the Samurai Wasp Steering Group and funded by Horticulture New Zealand alongside KVH and several other horticultural industry groups. The steering group is looking at introduction of a biocontrol, the Samurai Wasp, to combat BMSB if it establishes in New Zealand. Read more about this work on the KVH website.

Read the media release about the report and its key findings here.

Biosecurity News
8 March 2018
Myrtle rust still on the move
8 March 2018
There have been many new myrtle rust finds since our last update, bringing the total number of infected properties to 331, four of which are reinfections. The latest update from the Ministry for...
Myrtle rust still on the move
8 March 2018

There have been many new myrtle rust finds since our last update, bringing the total number of infected properties to 331, four of which are reinfections.

The latest update from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms 27 new sites in Auckland, Wellington, Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty – three in Bethlehem, one in Otumoetai, one in Welcome Bay, and one in Whakamarama. Also, of note:

·        surveillance continues to be undertaken in the known affected areas as well as high-risk areas in Northland, and the top of the South Island,

·        myrtle rust has been found on public conservation land for the first time, in north Taranaki,

·        and the ban on movement of myrtle plants/green waste in Taranaki has been lifted. 

Because of the persistent nature of this fungal infection, and so that they have the best chance to control it over the long-term, MPI is adjusting its approach to management of myrtle rust. Treatment of infected plants now varies from street to street and region to region. MPI is working with affected property owners individually on options around self-managing infected plants where local elimination of an infection isn’t considered possible.



Although myrtle rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit plants or vines, you may see it on other plants on your orchard or home garden. If you think you have found it, don’t touch it – take a photo and call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.


Be on the lookout for big yellow powdery eruptions on either or both sides of the leaf; brown/grey rust pustules (older spores) which appear on older lesions; and buckled or twisted leaves which may die off. 

Media Releases
27 February 2018
BMSB impact on horticulture devastating, report says
27 February 2018
An economic report, released today, says if the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) establishes in New Zealand it would dramatically impact New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) as well as...
BMSB impact on horticulture devastating, report says
27 February 2018

An economic report, released today, says if the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) establishes in New Zealand it would dramatically impact New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) as well as export revenues from horticulture.

Prepared by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), Quantifying the economic impacts of a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug incursion in New Zealand, shows GDP falling between $1.8 billion and $3.6 billion by 2038, and horticulture export value falling between $2 billion and $4.2 billion by 2038.

“A BMSB incursion would affect multiple sectors simultaneously,” Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says. “This is currently the number one pest threatening horticulture and we are fully supportive of action at the border to keep it out, including the recent moves to prevent ships contaminated with brown marmorated stink bugs from unloading their cargoes in Auckland.”

An incursion would reduce crop yields, increase costs, and lower the export value for exports. At the same time, it would impact on employment, wages, and result in a poorer standard of living, the report says.

NZ Winegrowers Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager Dr Edwin Massey says the report confirms that brown marmorated stink bug is one of the wine industry’s highest threat biosecurity risks.

“Working through the Government Industry Agreement, we are committed to working with the Crown and other industry groups to mitigate this risk as much as possible.”

The report was commissioned by the Samurai Wasp Steering group and funded by Horticulture New Zealand, New Zealand Winegrowers, Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), Vegetable Research and Innovation (VR&I), Ministry for Primary Industries, Foundation for Arable Research (FAR), New Zealand Apples & Pears, Summerfruit NZ, and New Zealand Avocado.

The steering group is looking at introduction of a biocontrol, the samurai wasp, to combat BMSB if it establishes in New Zealand. You can find out more about that here.

You can find out more about BMSB and what to do if you find any on the KVH website here.

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
New digital biosecurity officer
22 February 2018
In a sign of the times, a digital biosecurity officer is helping international visitors at Auckland Airport. Vai – which stands for Virtual Assistant Interface – will increase...
New digital biosecurity officer
22 February 2018

In a sign of the times, a digital biosecurity officer is helping international visitors at Auckland Airport.

Vai – which stands for Virtual Assistant Interface – will increase biosecurity awareness and take some of the load off frontline officers during peak times by answering queries. She can answer simple biosecurity questions such as what items need to be declared for inspection and uses a database of queries and answers that is constantly updated.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) started trialling Vai earlier this month in the biosecurity arrivals area. Look out for her next time you travel!

Read more about the technology behind Vai and the trial here.

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
The latest on myrtle rust
22 February 2018
There are now 271 properties infected with myrtle rust, 26 of which are reinfections. The latest update from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms 14 new sites in New Plymouth,...
The latest on myrtle rust
22 February 2018

There are now 271 properties infected with myrtle rust, 26 of which are reinfections.

The latest update from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms 14 new sites in New Plymouth, Auckland, Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty – two properties in Tauranga and one in Bethlehem.

Surveillance continues to be undertaken in the known affected areas as well as high-risk areas in Northland, and the top of the South Island.

MPI is adjusting its approach to management of myrtle rust because of the persistent nature of this fungal infection, and so that they have the best chance to control it over the long-term.

Treatment of infected plants now varies from region to region and street to street, and includes MPI working with affected property owners on options around self-managing infected plants where local elimination of an infection isn’t feasible.

Although myrtle rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit plants or vines, you may see it on other plants on your orchard or home garden. There are recommendations for home gardeners, nursey owners, and beekeepers on the MPI website. 

If you think you have found myrtle rust, don’t touch it – take a photo and call MPI on 0800 80 99 66. Be on the lookout for big yellow powdery eruptions on either or both sides of the leaf; brown/grey rust pustules (older spores) which appear on older lesions; and buckled or twisted leaves which may die off.

Grower News
22 February 2018
Are you a biosecurity quizmaster?
22 February 2018
KVH was a proud supporter of the 2018 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition which was held in conjunction with the Te Puke A&P show last Saturday. KVH provided a biosecurity quiz to the...
Are you a biosecurity quizmaster?
22 February 2018

KVH was a proud supporter of the 2018 Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower competition which was held in conjunction with the Te Puke A&P show last Saturday.

KVH provided a biosecurity quiz to the six competitors – congratulations to Danni van der Heijden for winning the quiz and for achieving overall winner for Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower of the Year.


This is an abbreviated form of the questions put to the competitors, who delighted us with their biosecurity knowledge by scoring an average of 85%. How does your biosecurity knowledge compare? Do you know your soldier bugs from your stink bugs? Got a good handle on Government Ministers and recent responses across the country? Test yourself before checking the answers at the end of this page. Good luck!

1.      Who is the current Minister for Biosecurity and can you name the Government department responsible for biosecurity?

2.      Can you name a significant biosecurity response that has taken place in New Zealand within the past five years?

3.      What is one valuable lesson we can take from the response to Psa so that we are better prepared for the impacts of future incursions?

4.      Imagine you have come back from overseas and when you get home you open your bag to find fruit that you forgot to declare at the border. What should you do?

5.      Name three biosecurity significant threats to kiwifruit that are not present in New Zealand.

6.     Why is it important for growers to keep records of where they have sourced their plants from?

7.      Name two other practices growers can implement to reduce the risk of biosecurity threats.

8.      Name a biosecurity incursion in Australia that has been in the news lately.

9.      What is the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) 0800 number for reporting unusual symptoms or invasive pests?

10.  One of the shield bugs below is a Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). The others are species commonly foind in New Zealand. Which one is the BMSB? How can you tell?

 

Find the answers here

Grower News
22 February 2018
Quiz answers
22 February 2018
Here are the answers to the biosecurity quiz: 1.      Damien O’Connor and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), or the recently accounced Biosecurity New...
Quiz answers
22 February 2018

Here are the answers to the biosecurity quiz:

1.      Damien O’Connor and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), or the recently accounced Biosecurity New Zealand.

2.      A number of incursions including but not limited to Myrtle rust; Mycoplasma bovis affecting the dairy industry; Queensland Fruit Fly incursion in Auckland; Velvetleaf, pea weevil, Bonamia ostraeae in oysters. 

3.     Contestants were awarded a mark for displaying awareness of lessons from Psa, which are wide but include develop response/action plans in advance; be aware of biosecurity threats from other countries and learn from how they have responsed to outbreaks; value of industry working closely with government and pre-agreeing roles, responsbilities and costs during an incursion; have controls/measures in place for the import of produce and plant material; carefully manage/restrict high-risk imports; everyone is a biosecurity risk manager and has a part to play; keep good records for tracing; value of industry working with stakeholders such as banks to ensure continued industry support; importance of research and development and breeding programmes.

4.     If you, or anyone you know, has accidently bought fruit or vegetables into New Zealand make sure it is reported to MPI and then appropriately destroyed (bagged and put in the rubbish is the best way, not composted). MPI would provide guidance about what to do next, so reporting is the key behaviour we are looking for here.

5.     Kiwifruit has a long list of potential threats that contestants could have chosen from, however the most common correct answers include Fruit flies; Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB); White Peach Scale; Brazilian Wilt/Ceratocystis fimbriata; Verticillium Wilt, Invasive Phytophthora, Psa-non New Zealand strains.

6.     So that traceability back to source can take place in the event of an incursion; to avoid spread of unwanted pests between orchards and regions.

7.     Restrict and track access to the orchard; clean everything that comes across the orchard/property boundary; have clear agreements with contractors about what must happen on site; undertake regular monitoring; report the unusual; keep orchards free from weeds/rubbish which could host unwanted pests; keep up-to-date with information about current/seasonal threats and share that information with others.  

8.     Contestants had to name the incursion but also the state or city where this was occuring. Most named the high risk incurions that have been profiled in our Bulletin newsletter including Queensland Fruit Fly (Adelaide, Tasmania, Western Australia) and Mediterranian Fruit Fly (Adelaide), but other incursions were also accepted.

9.     0800 80 99 66 – the MPI exotic pest and disease hotliine.

10.  First on the left is the BMSB. It’s bigger than similar bugs already found in New Zealand, has striped antennae and striped bands on the abdomen.

 

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
Shiploads of BMSB sent packing
22 February 2018
KVH has publicly congratulated the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for taking the right action in turning back ships that have arrived at our ports carrying hundreds of unwanted pests. Early...
Shiploads of BMSB sent packing
22 February 2018

KVH has publicly congratulated the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for taking the right action in turning back ships that have arrived at our ports carrying hundreds of unwanted pests.

Early last week MPI turned around three large cargo vessels because one of the most damaging pests to the kiwifruit and wider horticultural industries - the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) – was found hitchhiking on the ships and in used vehicles onboard, along with several Yellow Spotted Stink Bugs (YSSB) which would have similar impacts.

A fourth ship has also voluntarily redirected.

As we all know, the BMSB is a pest that could destroy New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable industries, infest homes and ruin gardens. It’s not in New Zealand yet and we want to keep it that way.

KVH is pleased with the ongoing diligence of MPI to detect these stink bugs at the border and we fully support the serious steps they have been taking to manage the risk of them getting here, including these recent cases of requiring treatment to take place offshore before allowing high-risk ships and cargo to return and unload goods.

The decisions may not always be popular with those importing goods, but the rules are very clear, and they are stringent for a reason. Unwanted pests like BMSB could cause hundreds of millions of dollars damage to the New Zealand economy and heavily affect growers’ livelihoods if they were to establish.

Representatives for the vehicle importing industry are taking the issue seriously and should be credited for the way they are co-operating with government as part of a group set up to urgently address the problem. The Chief Executive of the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association has contacted KVH, 100% behind the position we have taken with this biosecurity risk, and like us wants to make sure a sustainable solution is put in place that addresses the problem offshore.

To that end, on Tuesday MPI announced that from now on all used vehicles will have to be cleaned and inspected for BMSB at an MPI-approved facility in Japan before export.  Most already do, but this change makes it compulsory. MPI has also used fogging of the ship with insecticide to flush out any insects out of confined spaces. KVH will keep growers informed as conversations around the matter continue.

You can also read more detail about the first ship turned away from the Port of Auckland, and exactly how MPI teams found and managed the BMSB they found here.

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
What KVH is doing to keep BMSB out
22 February 2018
Working alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and other horticulture industry groups, KVH has been working hard to raise awareness of the threat and impact of BMSB crossing our borders....
What KVH is doing to keep BMSB out
22 February 2018

Working alongside the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and other horticulture industry groups, KVH has been working hard to raise awareness of the threat and impact of BMSB crossing our borders. This work has included meetings with importers and transporters of machinery and other high-risk goods to ensure they are fully aware of the biosecurity measures they must take.

We’ve planned to ensure that as an industry we’re well prepared for BMSB, if it were to arrive and establish here. This includes running regular simulation exercises; hosting workshops with industry, MPI, and other horticultural sectors; and developing joint workplans for how we would manage an incursion and long-term response.

KVH is working with other industry groups on an application for the release of a biological control, the Samurai Wasp, which would help the fight for eradication/control in the event BMSB establishes here.

The wasp is a natural enemy of BMSB and it’s effective in suppressing populations by up to 80%. It’s tiny, the size of a pinhead and doesn’t sting or bite humans or animals.
The application is seeking pre-approval because a quick release of large numbers of the wasp during the early phase of a BMSB incursion would be critical to eradication efforts. Even if eradication wasn’t successful, early release and establishment of wasp populations would still reduce the likelihood of large populations of BMSB developing.

Over the next few weeks we’re also going to be out re-visiting some specific groups to remind them about the threat this bug poses and how important is to be on the lookout. We’ll specifically get information to transitional facilities, car importers, and hostels/backpackers.


The national awareness campaign for BMSB continues. In January there were the highest month of calls about stink bugs to the MPI 0800 number. There were 133 calls over the month, compared to 60 in December and about 70 in November. More than 70% of the calls so far this high-risk season have been directly attributed to the campaign which is great news – it shows the message is being seen and people know to make a report if they spot anything unusual.

February sees a final push to raise awareness amongst the public with ads appearing on Stuff, the Herald, TVNZ and 3-news sites. The TV3 onDemand TV service is also now playing the Ruud Kleinpaste video during programmes as well.

Kiwi Gardener magazine publish social media posts about BMSB and they are sending an email to their almost 5000 strong e-newsletter database. We have ads appearing in the autumn edition of go-Gardening (the free magazine found in garden centres) too.


The BMSB page on the KVH website includes fact sheets about how to identify this bug, videos, and latest data on recent finds at the border. Share these resources with your staff and family so that everyone knows what to look out for and the potential grave consequences of any incursion.

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
Stopping the Yellow Spotted Stink Bug
22 February 2018
The recent border interceptions of not only Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) but Yellow Spotted Stink Bug (YSSB) aswell are a timely and important reminder of how important it is we all know what...
Stopping the Yellow Spotted Stink Bug
22 February 2018

The recent border interceptions of not only Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) but Yellow Spotted Stink Bug (YSSB) aswell are a timely and important reminder of how important it is we all know what these bugs look like and what to do if we find them.

The YSSB is similar to the BMSB in that it is a hitchhiker pest that could have serious impacts on our fruit and vegetable industries, ruin gardens and infest homes.

These bugs are around 18-23mm long (about the size of a 10-cent coin) or larger, and they are bigger than shield bugs currently found in New Zealand. The body is blackish brown and covered entirely with many small yellow spots.

View the YSSB fact sheet on the KVH website and be on the lookout, If you find anything unusual catch it, take a photo, and report it to the pest and disease hotline on 0800 80 99 66.

Biosecurity News
22 February 2018
Unwanted!
22 February 2018
Each month we profile one of the 12 most unwanted pests featured on our ‘Port of Tauranga – committed to biosecurity excellence’ calendar. They could all potentially enter our...
Unwanted!
22 February 2018

Each month we profile one of the 12 most unwanted pests featured on our ‘Port of Tauranga – committed to biosecurity excellence’ calendar. They could all potentially enter our borders and have a major impact on the local community and businesses, the kiwifruit industry or other local growers.

This month, the focus is on Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD). This pest is a threat to fruit crops in every country it has established in, resulting in major economic costs due to control, crop destruction and market access implications.



SWD has a wide range of hosts, including kiwiberries. There is no evidence of impacts to kiwifruit, but market access implications are possible should we have an incursion.  Unlike most other vinegar flies - which attack damaged or rotting fruit - the SWD lays its eggs in ripening fruit, leaving it soft and unmarketable. 

Adults thrive in temperatures up to 25 degrees, making New Zealand a suitable climate for establishment.

This pest is mobile and can fly between local areas, but fresh produce is the most likely long-distance pathway. Read more
here.

Everyone can play a part in keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of New Zealand. If you come across anything unusual, catch it, snap it, and report it to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 80 99 66.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

Suite 3, Level 1, Customhouse Building
314 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui
(entrance cnr Totara and Rata Street)
PO Box 4246, Mount Maunganui, 3149
New Zealand

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz