Chileans visit Bay of Plenty
A group from Chile recently visited the Bay of Plenty to learn more about our kiwifruit industry and to understand how New Zealand growers are managing their orchards to minimise the impact of Psa.The group came from a range of backgrounds, including growers and technical staff; and included Christian Abud who is a member of the technical committee for Chiles National Plan Protection Organisation. This organisation is responsible for developing strategies in the containment of Psa in Chile. The group reported that in Chile, Psa is continuing to progress northwards through the growing regions at around 100km/year. Psa has now reached the growing area around Curico where the Gold varieties are grown. Use of plastic covers has been successful for mitigating Psa effects for Gold varieties but the number of planted hectares is not increasing due to the uncertainty of this variety in the Psa environment. Hosted by KVH and Zespri, the group attended presentations and visited both Hayward and Gold3 orchards. They were particularly interested in the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme, seeing this as a key mechanism for reducing the risk of pests and pathogens spreading to new regions. Chileans are also researching biological control options and plant health strategies to reduce Psa impacts.