BMSB scientists visit

11 May 2023

KVH had the pleasure last week to host two researchers who have a key role in programmes relating to learning more about how we might manage some of our industry’s biggest threats – namely the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB).

Dr Gonzalo Avila and Jinping Zhang were led by KVH’s Linda Peacock on a tour viewing typical New Zealand kiwifuit orchard environs to get a better understanding of variance of terrain and plant species close to orchards. This helps inform conversations on how we might monitor for and manage BMSB if it were to arrive and establish.

Gonzalo is based at Plant & Food Research in Auckland and he is leading the pre-emptive biocontrol programme against BMSB – a world first. He works with researchers in China and the USA, where incursions have caused significant losses. Jinping is a Chinese-based researcher who has worked on several BMSB and Spotted Lanternfly Zespri-funded projects.

Dr Avila noted the importance of each industry considering their own specific situation – tree crops and kiwifruit canopies may need different solutions. Considering a possible plan ahead of time is valuable.

The team also got to meet Te Puke-based Plant & Food Research staff in-person, who they regularly collaborate with, and they discussed work on trapping surveillance being trialled within the Passion Vine Hopper research space.

Relationship building with scientists, KVH and growers, and building a better understanding of breadth/ scope of the industry is invaluable to our industry and KVH thanks those supporting this visit by kindly sharing their time and expertise.

Image: Ethan from Seeka, Gonzalo, and Jinping on a Bay of Plenty orchard.