Controlling Giant Buttercup Weed with Sclerotinia - what are the risks to our industry?

19 February 2015

AgResearch has been carrying out a long-term project investigating the use of bio-herbicide product Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Sclerotinia) to control pasture weeds including thistles and giant buttercup. But what are the risks to the kiwifruit industry?

Concerns were raised regarding this project to understand what, if any, would be the risks imposed to the kiwifruit industry. Therefore a risk assessment was commissioned to provide background to the Sclerotinia bio-herbicide research programme to date, an understanding of the programme activities and the risks and management of these with respect to disease caused by the fungus in kiwifruit.

The final report concludes the risk of Sclerotinia as a bio-herbicide, creating off-target increased risk of Sclerotinia infection in nearby kiwifruit orchards, is very low.

  • A full copy of the report, including key findings and recommendations can be viewed on the Zespri Canopy here.