Drop and mulch unpicked fruit
Under the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP), it is a requirement to remove all unpicked fruit from vines by 1 July yearly.
Any unpicked kiwifruit is now softening and if left on vines will be a food source for birds such as white-eyes, blackbirds or sparrows. For the kiwifruit industry, unpicked fruit is not a good thing as birds deposit kiwifruit seed via their droppings into nearby bush or forestry blocks, resulting in further wild kiwifruit infestations. A few fruit missed by pickers is enough to perpetuate a wild kiwifruit problem.
Contractors work throughout the year to control wild kiwifruit in the Bay of Plenty. The cost of this work is more than $200,000 yearly – growers are funding most of this control work through KVH. Over time this cost could reduce through better management of unpicked fruit which is the seed-source for wild vines. KVH is working with other regional councils to detect and destroy any wild kiwifruit plants before they establish or spread.
Unpicked fruit and unmanaged kiwifruit vines may also be a potential host for plant disease organisms.
Unpicked fruit needs to be dropped to the ground and mulched - the fruit will quickly compost. KVH is following up on a small number of reports of unpicked fruit. If growers are aware of unpicked orchards or parts of orchards, please contact John Mather at KVH.