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Biosecurity News
28 May 2020
Keep up with biosecurity when replacing plants or planting new blocks
28 May 2020
Winter is the time when growers look to replace plants on their orchards or plant new blocks. This article is a reminder that if these plants are being moved between properties there are biosecurity...
Keep up with biosecurity when replacing plants or planting new blocks
28 May 2020

Winter is the time when growers look to replace plants on their orchards or plant new blocks. This article is a reminder that if these plants are being moved between properties there are biosecurity requirements that must be met to reduce the likelihood of spreading pests and diseases including Psa.

As a general rule, plants may only be sourced from nurseries that meet the requirements of the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS). There are two types of these nurseries – both are listed on the KVH website.

1.      Full certification plants: these are plants that are free of Psa and other target organisms. Nurseries with these plants have demonstrated the ability to keep Psa out of their growing environment (either through growing in a fully enclosed greenhouse or by being located in an Exclusion region where there is no Psa) and plants have tested Psa Not Detected. 

2.      Restricted certification plants: these are plants that may have the common New Zealand form of Psa (Psa-V) but are free of non-New Zealand and resistant strains of Psa.

The only exception is Grow for Your Own Use, where plants are being grown for use on another property (or properties) under the same ownership within the same Psa region. In this case up to 1000 plants per year can be moved between these properties. Growers using this option must register with KVH and submit a KVH Psa-V Risk Management Plan - Growing Rootstock for your own use.

Plants displaying symptoms are not to be moved and both the nursery and recipient are to maintain traceability records should symptoms develop at a later stage and tracing be required.   

Please contact KVH on 0800 665 825 if you would like more information about the requirements.

Biosecurity News
28 May 2020
Colder temperatures bring higher Psa risk
28 May 2020
Recent cold snaps in most regions have brought welcome winter chill and a good start to leaf drop, but there are also reminders that autumn conditions heighten Psa risk. For some Waikato...
Colder temperatures bring higher Psa risk
28 May 2020

Recent cold snaps in most regions have brought welcome winter chill and a good start to leaf drop, but there are also reminders that autumn conditions heighten Psa risk.

For some Waikato orchards -5 degree frosts were recorded last week, and on Psa challenged blocks this sudden dip in temperature has triggered Psa expression. Exudate from girdles and older cankers flag the need to get winter coppers on to rebuild protection after many months of no sprays. Young plants can also come under pressure during cold periods as described in a recent KVH unusual symptoms report.

Development blocks exposed to frosts or wind need special attention as younger growth remains vulnerable to injury, providing opportunity for Psa entry. Good autumn protection is an important part of year-round management of this disease. Forecast risk of ground frosts can be accessed through the KVH Weather & Disease Portal.

Biosecurity News
28 May 2020
Stink bug in tech winners' sights
28 May 2020
KVH Chief Executive Stu Hutchings was part of the judging panel at this year’s Ag Tech Hackathon, where an innovation and technology company with a track record for coming up with high-tech...
Stink bug in tech winners' sights
28 May 2020

KVH Chief Executive Stu Hutchings was part of the judging panel at this year’s Ag Tech Hackathon, where an innovation and technology company with a track record for coming up with high-tech solutions to industry problems claimed the win for their device that has the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in its sights.

Their solution, Bugkilla, uses pheromones and light waves to attract BMSB into a chamber. The bug crawls in and a camera identifies if it is a stink bug. If it is, a fan draws the bug up to an electric grating and zaps it then ejects the dead bug.

Farmers Weekly spoke to the winners about their win in the Zespri-funded project, and next steps – which may include KVH as an end-user of potential products that help with the management of this pest, one of the kiwifruit industry’s most unwanted.

Biosecurity News
28 May 2020
Remove unpicked kiwifruit from vines
28 May 2020
Growers are reminded that unpicked kiwifruit must be removed from vines by 1 July. Unpicked fruit can increase the amount of wild kiwifruit plants establishing in nearby areas of native bush or...
Remove unpicked kiwifruit from vines
28 May 2020

Growers are reminded that unpicked kiwifruit must be removed from vines by 1 July.

Unpicked fruit can increase the amount of wild kiwifruit plants establishing in nearby areas of native bush or forestry, as fruit ripening over the winter months provides a food source for birds such as white-eyes. Birds spread seed through their droppings, together with a small fertiliser package. A proportion of this seed can readily germinate.

Unmanaged kiwifruit vines, including those with unpicked fruit, may also be a potential host for plant disease organisms.

Unpicked fruit needs to be dropped to the ground and mulched as soon as possible. This prevents mass-feeding by birds over the entire winter period. It may be necessary to rake the fruit out from beneath leaders to that the mower can mulch all of the fruit.

Under the National Psa Pest Management Plan (NPMP) it is a requirement to remove all unpicked fruit from vines by 1 July each year.  After this date KVH will follow-up reports of unpicked fruit with orchard
owners and post-harvest companies.

Biosecurity News
14 May 2020
BMSB awareness campaign proves its worth
14 May 2020
Every New Zealander has a role to play in managing the risk of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). During the most recent high-risk season (September 2019 through to April 2020) KVH co-funded a...
BMSB awareness campaign proves its worth
14 May 2020

Every New Zealander has a role to play in managing the risk of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

During the most recent high-risk season (September 2019 through to April 2020) KVH co-funded a nationwide summer BMSB education campaign with Biosecurity New Zealand and other horticultural sectors to lift public awareness around the damaging impacts of the pest and increase the likelihood of early detection through surveillance.

The results of the summer campaign are in:

       There were a record number of calls to the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline (1415 calls compared to 937 the season prior).

       Website ads generated the most calls to the hotline.

       There were over 11 million views of our online ads on websites like MetService, Stuff.co.nz, TVNZ and TV3 websites.

       Just under 45,000 visits to the BMSB pages on the Biosecurity New Zealand website.

       Extra awareness activities at international airports resulted in over 130 calls from travellers reporting suspected BMSB in luggage.

       Social media advertising, videos and posts were seen by more than 14 million people.

       Ruud ‘the Bug Man’ Kleinpaste posts and videos were the most effective social media tools.

       February recorded the highest ever number of calls to the pest hotline (323), most of which were attributed to the paid stories on two consecutive nights on the Newshub 6pm news by The Aotearoa Science Agency.

Partnerships were also a big focus of the campaign. KVH worked across the kiwifruit industry and kiwifruit growing community groups to talk about BMSB and distribute information. Some initiatives were:

       Posters, fliers, stickers, and videos shared with growers, pack-houses, transitional facilities, schools, and community groups.

       Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital focused on BMSB, especially with the large banner on the Grain Corp tanks on Hewletts Road near the Port of Tauranga.

       The Port of Tauranga Biosecurity Excellence partnership focussed on BMSB during the local biosecurity week with staff who work on and around the port. Calendars, playing cards, key rings and pest alerts were distributed.

       All Auckland International Airport staff supplied with BMSB ID lanyard cards that were worn with security cards so any hitchhiking pests could be identified in the airport environment.

Next years campaign will target the wider public again because that is what keeps resulting in high call numbers and high ‘click throughs’ to more detailed information online. Digital/online advertising will continue to be used because we know that people are watching our ads/videos through until the end and are then ringing the pest hotline or visiting official BMSB web pages. It’s also a far-reaching medium that is very cost effective.

Partnerships with the kiwifruit industry through KVH, Tauranga Moana Biosecurity Capital and the Port of Tauranga Excellence programme will continue as they are all working well and generate interest and calls, as well as keeping BMSB top of mind for key audiences.

The artwork and design of the BMSB campaign (the blue NZ maps) has been surveyed and found to be well liked, and results in people carrying out the desired behaviour of knowing what to look for and how to make a report. It isn’t always well recognised over the long-term though, so a revamp will be considered for the 2020/21 BMSB season.

Biosecurity News
14 May 2020
Express freight survey shows low biosecurity risk
14 May 2020
A recent Biosecurity New Zealand survey shows risk from express freight is being well managed. Carried out from December 2019 to February 2020, the survey found express freight items arriving in New...
Express freight survey shows low biosecurity risk
14 May 2020

A recent Biosecurity New Zealand survey shows risk from express freight is being well managed.

Carried out from December 2019 to February 2020, the survey found express freight items arriving in New Zealand were almost 100% (99.996%) compliant with biosecurity requirements.

Express freight is air cargo that has guaranteed delivery times and is often delivered directly to the door.

The survey was prompted by an independent review of passenger and mail services last year, which recommended Biosecurity New Zealand test the assumption that express freight is low risk.

Electronic import documents are currently screened to identify anything that needs to be examined further, however the survey suggested further work to ensure the actual contents of parcels match what is declared. As a result, Biosecurity New Zealand says it will look at ways to beef up verification, including ongoing surveys, screening with mobile x-ray machines and increased use of detector dogs.

The survey involved examining nearly 2500 parcels across five express freight companies.

Biosecurity News
14 May 2020
Wanted: Waihi weather station host
14 May 2020
We’re looking for a new home for the Waihi weather station, to support local growers. The station is part of our network of weather stations across the country and needs a new site because...
Wanted: Waihi weather station host
14 May 2020

We’re looking for a new home for the Waihi weather station, to support local growers.

The station is part of our network of weather stations across the country and needs a new site because changes to the original orchard it was hosted on mean it’s no longer an ideal setting.

If you think you might be interested in hosting this valuable addition to our Psa Risk Model, please contact info@kvh.org.nz or call Linda Peacock on 027 475 2909 to talk about the criteria of a suitable site and the process of a site visit. You may also like to have a quick read of our weather station guidelines here.

Biosecurity News
14 May 2020
BOTRY-Zen now has a full claim against Psa
14 May 2020
The biological BOTRY-Zen now holds a full registration through ACVM as a biological control option for Psa. A limited label claim was initially achieved in 2013. Plant & Food Research is...
BOTRY-Zen now has a full claim against Psa
14 May 2020

The biological BOTRY-Zen now holds a full registration through ACVM as a biological control option for Psa.

A limited label claim was initially achieved in 2013. Plant & Food Research is the research provider for Botry-Zen (2001) Ltd and has carried out field trials that have contributed to ACVM granting label claims for the product, for the control of Psa in kiwifruit.

BOTRY-Zen holds certified Biogro status and offers an additional control option for all growers.  It is best used as part of an integrated control programme and is better suited to low Psa pressure situations. The product contains Ulocladium oudemansii U3 spores as the active ingredient and application when temperatures are above 15 degrees is recommended as optimal for rapid spore generation and spread.

At this time of the season, growers can apply BOTRY-Zen post-harvest and then again after pruning. The product can be tank mixed with one other compatible product such as copper or Actigard and may be applied to mature vines, development blocks and nursery plants.

BOTRY-Zen is available through major retailers.

Spray information on the KVH website has been updated to reflect BOTRY-Zen’s full label claim.

Biosecurity News
30 April 2020
Heightened awareness for hitchhikers
30 April 2020
Since the start of the high-risk season in September 2019 there have been 57 Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found, about a quarter of what was found at this time last season, indicating...
Heightened awareness for hitchhikers
30 April 2020

Since the start of the high-risk season in September 2019 there have been 57 Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSB) found, about a quarter of what was found at this time last season, indicating management processes – especially those undertaken offshore – are working.

We are nearing the end of the high-risk season for BMSB with none of the bugs found in New Zealand for several weeks now.

However, as we move in to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 and many more goods are moving again (including out of containers and transitional facilities where they may have been in storage for weeks) growers and the public are reminded to keep an eye out for stink bugs and other potentially hitchhiking pests (dead or alive) that could have been hiding out in stationary cargo during the lockdown.

KVH put out a press release on Tuesday reminding people of the importance of being extra vigilant when opening either new to New Zealand parcels or non-essential items that have been in storage while we were at Alert Level 4. You can read the release here.

More detail about this year’s high-risk season can be read in the latest monthly KVH BMSB risk update, which includes data reported by Biosecurity New Zealand.

Biosecurity News
30 April 2020
Autumn Psa reminder
30 April 2020
This week a Gisborne grower forwarded this image of a young Gold3 trunk showing recent Psa exudate. It provides an important reminder that despite a long dry summer, Psa never really goes away and...
Autumn Psa reminder
30 April 2020

This week a Gisborne grower forwarded this image of a young Gold3 trunk showing recent Psa exudate. It provides an important reminder that despite a long dry summer, Psa never really goes away and can quickly reactivate as temperatures cool and rain periods become more prevalent.

A number of plants in the same block had internal staining in some pruned canes with this also indicating a level of Psa infection within the block. Care was taken to cut back beyond the infected tissue and good tool hygiene was maintained to avoid disease transfer.

Copper at winter rates was applied to the pruned canopy and as there was still a good level of green leaf available, Actigard was also included to provide added protection against further autumn and winter infection.

A reminder good autumn Psa protection is also important for mature fruiting blocks. Copper should be applied as soon as possible after fruit harvest and if the canopy condition allows and there is no risk of drift to unharvested fruit. Actigard should also be applied. As a rule of thumb ensure at least 50% of canopy leaves are still green if using this plant defence elicitor. More details on the use of Actigard can be found here

Biosecurity News
29 April 2020
Preparing to fight Phytophthora
29 April 2020
We’ve added another new page to the Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted section of our website, this one all about Phytophthora. Phytophthora is present around the world, including New Zealand, in...
Preparing to fight Phytophthora
29 April 2020

We’ve added another new page to the Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted section of our website, this one all about Phytophthora.

Phytophthora is present around the world, including New Zealand, in a wide range of hosts. There are over 100 known species, with thoughts there could be up to 500 more yet to be identified.

It’s thought highly likely that under certain conditions (i.e. wet soils) kiwifruit would be susceptible to several Phytophthora species. Predicting which species will impact which cultivars, and under what conditions, is difficult if not impossible to achieve. Because of this, KVH is undertaking readiness planning and research for invasive Phytophthora species as a whole, as opposed to focusing on one specific species.

The new web page includes information about this work, images, fact sheets and other Phytophthora reference material to help growers understand the risk posed by this threat and how to identify symptoms.

One of the research projects detailed on the page is a survey of orchards throughout New Zealand being undertaken by KVH, Zespri and Plant & Food Research. Sampling of orchards was set to kick off in autumn (May), but while we all continue to support COVID-19 efforts, it has been decided to delay to the first round of sampling until spring (September) and under the appropriate alert level.

Biosecurity News
16 April 2020
The borders are closed but has our biosecurity risk gone away?
16 April 2020
KVH is calling upon growers to ensure that on-orchard biosecurity for kiwifruit pests and pathogens is not forgotten and most importantly to keep an eye out for any unusual vine symptoms during...
The borders are closed but has our biosecurity risk gone away?
16 April 2020

KVH is calling upon growers to ensure that on-orchard biosecurity for kiwifruit pests and pathogens is not forgotten and most importantly to keep an eye out for any unusual vine symptoms during harvest and report these to KVH for follow up. If an incursion were to occur now - while the country is facing an unprecedented human health and economic challenge - the impact could be severe.

While borders are closed, cruise ships berthed, and incoming trade a trickle of its usual volume, biosecurity risk still exists, especially from the spread of kiwifruit pathogens that may already be here in their latent (not showing symptoms) form. Coronavirus has clearly illustrated the challenge of managing pathogens during the latency period, where they can spread silently between asymptomatic hosts. The same logic applies to plant pathogens except the latent phase can be much longer than 14 days and extend out to months or even years.

For some of our most significant threats like Ceratocystis fimbriata, the pathogen impacting kiwifruit in Brazil, we don’t even know how long the latency period in kiwifruit is but we look to other hosts like Eucalypts where it is thought to be about seven months for new plantings. Our challenge is to apply biosecurity practices all the time so that if this or any other pathogen were to arrive, we wouldn’t be spreading it around unknowingly.

We can’t afford to lock down plant material movements, these underpin the growth of our industry. But, by applying certification standards and embedding biosecurity practices across the plant production chain we can increase our confidence that these movements are safe. Should failures occur, we need robust traceability systems to know where infected material may have gone and where it came from originally. These are some of the key principles behind the proposed pathway plan (click here to read the latest Bulletin article about this) to ensure safe movements of risk goods across our internal industry pathways.

Underpinning all these principles is the need for growers to report any unusual vine symptoms so that KVH and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) can follow up and undertake diagnostic testing. Growers should take reassurance that in almost all such cases there is no cost to the grower and no resulting restrictions that impact their operation. Even if a response was to be launched the grower would likely be eligible for any losses under the Biosecurity Act.

The earlier we detect the presence of a new biosecurity threat the earlier we can act to contain it, which gives us the very best shot at eradication.

To report anything unusual call KVH on 0800 665 825 or email info@kvh.org.nz.  

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz