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23 May 24 Biosecurity News

Fun Fact

We’ve got brand new pest ID cards printing and coming your way shortly. The flashcards have been created to help everyone involved in orchard work improve their pest and disease ID skills – they provide an easy way to identify some of the kiwifruit industry’s biggest biosecurity risks and are a practical tool for out in the field. They’re plastic coated and durable, and held together with a ring you can adjust over time as we produce new cards and update our Most Unwanted list We’ll have these with us at upcoming events and as soon as they’re hot off the press we’ll let you know so you can order some for you and your teams.
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23 May 24 Biosecurity News

Smart sanitising

With harvest almost done and thoughts turning to pruning and grafting, now is a perfect time to talk sanitisers. Hygiene practices including cleaning tools on arrival, and regularly between blocks, bays, and vines are a known cornerstone to protecting vines from entry of high-risk organisms, and an important discussion between growers and contractors as they agree biosecurity processes for the season. A list of sanitisers effective against biosecurity risk organisms can be found on the KVH website. This research-based information compares performance of sanitisers on wood, plastic, tyre, and metal surfaces and so allows growers to choose the most suitable product for their use. Some good news also as the plastic holsters fabricated by a Katikati firm to provide a simple and effective solution to ensure tools are regularly sanitised are still available, with orders being taken now. Sanitiser solution is added to the holsters and topped up as required avoiding the need for staff to carry separate buckets or bottles up and down rows, creating a win-win for staff and orchard owners. To find out more about availability and prices email Frank at Hercules Tanks.
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23 May 24 Biosecurity News

Biosecurity learnings from Australia

Earlier this month, KVH visited Cairns to attend the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) Symposium. This two-day event is held every two years to highlight research outcomes from PBRI’s $69M investment in plant biosecurity. The event also provides KVH with an excellent opportunity to stay engaged with our Australian counterparts in research, industry, and government. Northern Queensland is a focal point for biosecurity in the banana industry, which is under threat from a soil borne pathogen, known as Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4). KVH visited some banana farms (as they are referred to) and was kindly hosted by Howe Farms to see what lessons we could incorporate into our own biosecurity preparedness for kiwifruit threats. TR4 has been sweeping through banana production regions around the world and was first detected in Australia in 1997 where it decimated the local banana industry. In 2015, TR4 was detected in Northern Queensland where 95% of Australia’s bananas are grown. The initial response was a scorched earth policy where the infected property was purchased by the industry and all host material (banana plants) removed and the earth left bare to prevent further transmission. While this approach may have slowed the spread, it has not eradicated the disease which is now known to be present on five properties in Northern Queensland. While the pathogen is not considered eradicable, the coordinated approach between Federal and State Governments, alongside industry has been effective in slowing the spread compared to all other regions where this pathogen has been detected. As a soil borne pathogen, on-orchard practices are focused at preventing the movement of soil and plant material between properties. Visiting banana farms provided KVH with an excellent learning opportunity to observe the practices used to combat a threat that is spread this way. Where applicable, KVH will look to incorporate these learnings into our readiness plans for other soil borne pathogens such as Ceratocystis fimbriata, which is considered our number one pathogen threat and has caused significant impact to kiwifruit growers in Brazil, as well as a wide range of other hosts around the world. Image: Managing biosecurity risk includes shipping containers with mandatory footwear changes and footbaths with separate entrances and exits (left); Matt Dyck from KVH visiting a banana grower, along with Brad Siebert from New Zealand Avocado.
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23 May 24 Biosecurity News

Unusual find in feijoas

It’s feijoa season and recently KVH received a report of unusual pinkish caterpillars found in the flesh of feijoas from two separate gardens in Papamoa. The question was whether these might be evidence that guava moth had made its way to the Bay of Plenty. Guava moth came from Australia, where they are found from Queensland to Tasmania. Their native host plant is the magenta lilly pilly, a member of the Myrtaceae plant family that includes pōhutukawa, eucalyptus and feijoas. They were first observed in New Zealand in 1997 on citrus at Ahipara and are now well established in Northland and across Auckland. The presence of guava moth has limited the production of commercially grown feijoas in the Auckland area and spoilt feijoa crops in many home gardens. It has not been reliably found south of the Bombay Hills although isolated finds have been noted in the Waikato and the Coromandel. This pest damages a wide range of produce including feijoas, guavas, macadamia nuts, stone fruits, and citrus. Hatched caterpillars burrow into the fruit feeding on the flesh and leaving rotting, brown patches, excreta, and mould inside the fruit. These symptoms matched the damage seen by our caller. Interestingly though, diagnostics of the caterpillar sent to the Plant Health and Environmental Laboratory (PHEL), confirmed the visitor as Blastobasis tarda, a species of moth also originally from Australia and now introduced to North America, and France with spread across Europe continuing. These larvae also feed on fruit, including feijoa and citrus, and the species is thought to potentially be a major pest for date palm crops in Italy. Blastobasis tarda has previously been confirmed as present in New Zealand and does not pose a biosecurity risk to kiwifruit but can certainly spoil our garden feijoa treats. KVH would like to thank our caller for taking the time to catch, snap, and report this unusual find. Image: The feijoa damage reported (left), and the caterpillar responsible (right) which was caught and reported to KVH.
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23 May 24 Grower News

Wild kiwifruit aerial surveillance planned for Te Puke

Early winter, when leaves turn yellow, is the best time to detect wild kiwifruit vines from the air. This June when a fine weather window presents itself, KVH is planning to undertake aerial surveillance of the Te Puke gullies from No 4 Road to Maungarangi Road. The last time a similar survey was undertaken was in June 2021. Information from the flight will be collated for analysis as part of an ongoing surveillance research project aimed at identifying wild kiwifruit vines through satellite imagery. The data will also be of huge help to the surveillance contractor to quickly find infestations and programme them for control.
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23 May 24 Biosecurity News

Keep up with biosecurity when replacing plants or planting new blocks

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. These requirements also provide the best chance of a successful response if a new organism was detected in our industry. As a general rule, plants may only be sourced from nurseries that have demonstrated they meet the requirements of the National Kiwifruit Pathway Management Plan by achieving certification to either KVH’s Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS) or Plant Pass, an equivalent biosecurity scheme for all nursery plants, not only kiwifruit. Certified nurseries are listed on the KVH website and it’s important for growers to understand that there are two options available: 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 and plants have tested Psa Not Detected. Restricted certification plants: these are plants that may have the common New Zealand form of Psa (Psa-V) but are tested to demonstrate freedom of non-New Zealand and resistant strains of Psa. The only exception is Grow for Your Own Use, where growers can grow plants on the property they are to be used on, without certification requirements. Growers can also move plants between KPINs under the same ownership (but only to a maximum of 1000 plants per year). Traceability records must be maintained but there are no registration or certification requirements. Plants displaying symptoms of disease 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 at [email protected] or 0800 665 825 if you would like more information about the requirements or visit our dedicated nursery page.
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