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Fun Fact
6 August 2020

Did you know that on average each gram of soil removed from airline passengers’ shoes has at least two seeds in it?

Research found that footwear in international passengers’ baggage contained soil that had around 2.5 seeds in it, 41 nematodes (wormlike plant-eating insects) and high counts of both bacteria and fungi.

The data came about as part of an AgResearch study on the biosecurity hazards that contaminated footwear could introduce to New Zealand. The project surveyed organisms in soil from the soles of passengers hiking boots (57% of samples), miscellaneous footwear (22%), sport shoes (12%), and golf shoes (10%).

This is a great reminder that as per Step 4 of the Kiwifruit Grower On-Orchard Guidelines, growers should always check and clean inputs crossing their boundary to make sure they do not present a biosecurity risk.  Footwear is considered the greatest risk and can easily spread contaminated soil from one site to another. Growers should ensure all visitors going onto their orchards have clean footwear and additional measures such as sanitising may be warranted for high-risk visitors.

Kiwifruit Vine Health

25 Miro St
Mount Maunganui
Tauranga 3116

Tel:  0800 665 825
Fax: 07 574 7591