Fruitfed supporting biosecurity awareness
This week KVH was invited to the Fruitfed Supplies (part of PGG Wrightson) kiwifruit and subtropical Crop Sector Group technical update to share updates on kiwifruit industry biosecurity threats and readiness efforts.
The annual conference provides staff supporting kiwifruit, avocado, citrus, blueberries, passionfruit, tamarillo and feijoa growers a chance to upskill knowledge, in keeping with the PGG Wrightson drive to “help grow the country”. With biosecurity threats ranked the number one risk to primary sector businesses for the ninth consecutive year by KPMG’s AgriBusiness Agenda survey it was fitting that biosecurity was part of this year’s programme.
Erin Lane, KVH’s Biosecurity Analyst, flagged increased Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) pressure in Europe this year with impacts on Italian pears described as “even more negative than any ominous initial forecast”. Reports suggest many crops will not be harvested due to BMSB damage levels. To help manage this risk to New Zealand, new rules for this stink bug season require offshore treatment of imported vehicles, machinery, and parts from 33 identified risk countries, and all sea containers from Italy.
The complexity of the ongoing fruit fly response in Auckland, development of the updated Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted list, and readiness planning underway for invasive Phytophthora species were identified as onshore challenges on the KVH biosecurity radar.
The value and importance of the role horticultural technical advisers can play in raising awareness of biosecurity risks through their networks was emphasised and the recently released on-orchard guidelines, which help kiwifruit growers build their own biosecurity plan, were presented as a tool to support these conversations.
KVH also took the opportunity to thank Fruitfed Supplies for being a valued member of KiwiNet, the team of industry people who champion biosecurity readiness with a goal of reducing impacts if and when the kiwifruit industry is faced with a new biosecurity incursion.
Image: Fruitfed Supplies staff visiting a large glasshouse operation during their annual conference, to look at things outside the square. Image credit: Fruitfed Supplies.