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Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
Top tips for harvest hygiene
4 March 2021
Harvest season presents a high-risk period for spreading Psa or other biosecurity risks between blocks, orchards, and regions because of the numbers of vehicles, machinery and people movements...
Top tips for harvest hygiene
4 March 2021

Harvest season presents a high-risk period for spreading Psa or other biosecurity risks between blocks, orchards, and regions because of the numbers of vehicles, machinery and people movements involved.

Growers are responsible for protecting their orchards, and others, by ensuring the movement risk of harvest equipment, people, and bins onto and around their orchard is minimised.

Top tips for harvest hygiene preparation are:

  • make sure contractors and staff understand your hygiene requirements,
  • check all equipment (harvest bins, harvest machinery, picking bags etc) coming on to your orchard is free of plant and soil material,
  • ensure any harvest bins arriving on the orchard have been sanitised by the pack-house between orchards and are clear of any kiwifruit plant material and soil,
  • ensure people check that clothing (particularly headwear and footwear) is free of plant material and soil on entry and exit,
  • do not allow workers to bring imported fruit onto the orchard,
  • clear loadout areas of weeds before harvest,
  • clearly mark parking and hygiene control areas,
  • allow only essential vehicles into the production area,
  • limit access to only established roads and tracks.


With extra people through orchards more pairs of eyes can be on the lookout for unusual vine symptoms or pests. Growers should communicate their requirements (as per their orchard biosecurity plan and guidelines booklet) to all coming onto their orchards. 

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
Advice for hosting or attending an orchard field day
4 March 2021
On-orchard field days and events are an opportunity to share valuable information; however, they can also lead to the spread of unwanted pests and diseases through the movement of people, machinery,...
Advice for hosting or attending an orchard field day
4 March 2021

On-orchard field days and events are an opportunity to share valuable information; however, they can also lead to the spread of unwanted pests and diseases through the movement of people, machinery, tools and goods.

KVH has produced a
best practice poster to help reduce biosecurity risk when hosting or visiting an orchard event and to explain the simple and easy steps people can take to protect kiwifruit orchards.

You can download the poster
here or email KVH if you would like us to print and send one to you. Please also feel free to share this with others who may be hosting any kind of event or guests on-orchard.

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
We can learn from the M.bovis review
4 March 2021
KVH is pleased Government and industry have announced their commitment to finding out what more can be learnt from the biosecurity response to Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis). The Ministry for Primary...
We can learn from the M.bovis review
4 March 2021

KVH is pleased Government and industry have announced their commitment to finding out what more can be learnt from the biosecurity response to Mycoplasma bovis (M.bovis).

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) announced it will conduct an independent review into the M.bovis response, which was first found in New Zealand in 2017 and is thought likely to have entered the country two years before that.

We see the review as a great opportunity to capture possible improvements so that New Zealand’s biosecurity system can be strengthened, and we can all be better prepared.

For the kiwifruit industry in particular, M.bovis has highlighted the importance of traceability - in our case this relates to plants and plant material - and being able to trace movements backwards and forwards over time so that sources of potential infection can be identified and managed as quickly as possible. This is a key element of the proposed new Pathway Management Plan.

The independent review is being fed into by affected industries and farmers, and KVH will closely follow the process and outcome.

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
BMSB season by the numbers
4 March 2021
Since the start of the high-risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in September 2020, activities to find and manage the risk of this unwanted pest have included: 93 visits by...
BMSB season by the numbers
4 March 2021

Since the start of the high-risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) in September 2020, activities to find and manage the risk of this unwanted pest have included:

  • 93 visits by detector dog teams to high-risk Auckland air freight facilities as part of ongoing surveillance. Biosecurity New Zealand officers have also gone to 104 sites in Christchurch,
  • 1700 container openings supervised by officers,
  • 60-plus vehicle ship surveys,
  • 300 consignments directed to remain onboard vessels until importers provided evidence of treatment/other management,
  • 2600-plus verification checks of uncontainerised consignments of new vehicles and machinery,
  • 4 detector dogs trained to sniff out BMSB,
  • 4 fines issued to transitional facilities for not following directions from officers relating to BMSB.

Every month, KVH produces a BMSB risk update which details what the kiwifruit industry is doing to keep BMSB out of our orchards and how we are preparing in case it does get here. The updates also include information from Biosecurity New Zealand about new bug finds. You can read the latest update here.

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
Keep an eye out for spittlebugs in your orchard
4 March 2021
Xylella fastidiosa, a deadly bacterial pathogen, is having a devasting impact across horticultural industries in Europe and the USA. This disease can infect many different plants and while the full...
Keep an eye out for spittlebugs in your orchard
4 March 2021

Xylella fastidiosa, a deadly bacterial pathogen, is having a devasting impact across horticultural industries in Europe and the USA.

This disease can infect many different plants and while the full scale of potential damage to kiwifruit in New Zealand (if it got here) remains somewhat unknown, for many crops it will be devastating.

While kiwifruit is currently not considered a host, there is still much uncertainty, including whether we already have a vector in New Zealand capable of spreading this pathogen between kiwifruit orchards if it were to arrive.  KVH is taking a proactive approach and is engaged in readiness efforts so that we are playing our part to reduce the likelihood and potential impacts of an incursion in New Zealand. Read more about this work here.

How might Xylella fastidiosa spread? There are a number of potential vectors of Xylella around the world, but the only known vector already present in New Zealand are spittlebugs. We’re unsure of their presence in our orchards and one of the ways we are looking to understand this better is to ask growers to keep an eye out and let us know if they spot anything that looks like one. This will help build our knowledge and complement research being undertaken by Better Border Biosecurity (B3) into the distribution of this insect in New Zealand.

Spittlebug adults – on the left in the below image - are small and reach a body length of 5–7mm. They are usually yellow/brown to dark brown, with dark spots, stripes, or bands on their back.

Nymphs – on the right in the below image – are about 1-2mm and hard to see but are easier to identify because of their self-generated foam nests, which can be seen during spring.

If you see something that you think could be a spittlebug, we would like to know about it. Either use the Find-A-Pest reporting app on your phone to send through a report, or catch it (if you can), snap a picture of it, and report it us at KVH on 0800 665 825 or info@kvh.org.nz.

If you would like to know more about the work underway to better understand the potential impacts of an incursion to New Zealand, you can read a full review on our website here.

Adult spittlebug (left): image credit Even Dankowicz and nymph (right): image credit Helen Macky. 

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
How do plant diseases impact plant health and food production?
4 March 2021
Bacterial plant diseases are diverse and cause many types of other diseases. Their transmission may be airborne, soil-borne or via invertebrate vectors. When introduced to new areas their spread is...
How do plant diseases impact plant health and food production?
4 March 2021

Bacterial plant diseases are diverse and cause many types of other diseases. Their transmission may be airborne, soil-borne or via invertebrate vectors. When introduced to new areas their spread is unpredictable, and often highly invasive. They are difficult to control with chemicals and, unlike many other plant pathogens, normally have many potential hosts.

A brand-new animation (produced by several UK agencies working together) briefly introduces nine high-quality projects that address bacterial threats - including one focused on Xylella fastidiosa - so that we can eventually overcome them enough to keep producing sufficient food and protect landscapes.

Watch the animation here (two minutes) and visit the Bacterial Plant Diseases UK website here to learn more about each of the projects.

As well as using local knowledge and research, KVH actively maintains relationships with international contacts like this UK group to share information and ensure potential risks to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry are identified and managed.

Grower News
4 March 2021
Keeping up with sleeper pests
4 March 2021
Last week KVH attended a great workshop hosted by Manaaki Whenua on ‘sleeper pests’ – pest plants, animals and pathogens which are already in New Zealand but are kept in check by...
Keeping up with sleeper pests
4 March 2021

Last week KVH attended a great workshop hosted by Manaaki Whenua on ‘sleeper pests’ – pest plants, animals and pathogens which are already in New Zealand but are kept in check by factors such as host unavailability and cold; their distribution and impacts could be much larger in time, especially due to climate change.

These species also pose very different modelling challenges compared with new invaders. Modelling the impacts of new invaders is often easier as we can use data and insights from offshore to predict what their impacts might be in our current, and future environments. 

The workshop (which also included representatives from the potatoes and forestry industries, regional councils, the Department of Conservation and Biosecurity New Zealand) is part of a project to develop climate modelling techniques which will enable growers and industry groups to better understand and mitigate the effects of sleeper pests.  

It is important to be involved in such projects because we know that threats to our industry aren't only those found offshore - they could already be here, and either not exposed to kiwifruit yet, or the conditions aren’t right for impacts to occur. A great example of this is Ceratocystis fimbriata, one of our most unwanted. We know this was a native pathogen to Brazil, that when exposed to kiwifruit caused devastation to the industry, with up to 50% loss on impacted orchards.

KVH will continue to be involved in the sleeper pest project and we look forward to seeing the outputs from this work, which will add to our important preparedness efforts.

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
Fun Fact
4 March 2021
One of the challenges of COVID-19 has been ensuring underworked detector dogs get sufficient exercise. To ensure our four-legged biosecurity sniffers stay fit for duty, Biosecurity New Zealand has a...
Fun Fact
4 March 2021

One of the challenges of COVID-19 has been ensuring underworked detector dogs get sufficient exercise.

To ensure our four-legged biosecurity sniffers stay fit for duty, Biosecurity New Zealand has a deal with Blind Low Vision NZ to use their guide dog exercise facility. This allows the dogs – including those still in training – to get a good workout and spend quality time with their handlers.

Although travel restrictions have meant a huge drop in international passenger arrivals, there is still work for detector dogs as they have an important screening role at transitional facilities and the International Mail Centre.

Biosecurity News
4 March 2021
In the news
4 March 2021
Stink bug confirmed in the UK: Scientists say the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has arrived in Britain, after most probably hitching a ride on packaging crates. Further monitoring is underway...
In the news
4 March 2021

Stink bug confirmed in the UK: Scientists say the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has arrived in Britain, after most probably hitching a ride on packaging crates.

Further monitoring is underway to determine if the pest is well established and the extent of its distribution there. KVH continues to advance our readiness for BMSB as part of the national BMSB Council, and undertaking research specific to the kiwifruit industry in partnership with Zespri.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591

Email: info@kvh.org.nz