Have you completed your orchard's biosecurity plan?
Kiwifruit growers are encouraged to strengthen biosecurity plans through a new guide from KVH.
Implementing on-orchard biosecurity is the responsibility of every person working on or visiting an orchard. With several high-profile pest and disease introductions into New Zealand over the last decade, including Psa, kiwifruit growers and orchard workers need to be biosecurity aware to protect themselves and surrounding businesses.
The new 5 step on-orchard biosecurity guidelines are a set of measures designed to protect a property from the entry and spread of pests and diseases and have been developed to provide guidance, help identify risks, and how to address them.
By using the guidelines to develop a biosecurity plan, you will be able to identify and prioritise biosecurity practices that are relevant to your orchard and property and be able to treat biosecurity planning in a similar manner to quality assurance or risk planning such as Health & Safety or emergency preparedness.
What is a biosecurity plan?
It's a document that outlines how you manage your orchard and how you will respond to a pest or disease outbreak. It describes your processes on-orchard and how you are addressing biosecurity risks.
It can be as short, or long, as you need - the new 5 step on-orchard biosecurity booklet is designed to be used as a template, with tips and suggestions for customising a biosecurity plan that works for your operation and that can be built on over time.
Make sure that as you personalise your own plan, you involve all orchard staff and contractors so that everyone becomes engaged with the common goal of keeping your orchard and fruit safe.
Having a biosecurity plan in a biosecurity response or an emergency is critical. Early detection and reporting give us the opportunity to supress any kind of serious disease.
Why have a biosecurity plan?
As a grower or person in charge of an orchard, you need to have a plan that covers the steps you take when moving machinery, tools and plant material on and off your property, how you trace and record all these things, how you manage the risks that might already be present, and the steps you should take if you see anything unusual.
By having a plan written down you can get everybody who's involved in your business on the same page.
Investing a little time in establishing good biosecurity practices on your orchard promises a hundredfold reward, not only through the smooth operation of day-to-day business but the avoidance of financial problems. movement restrictions, and possible market access issues in the future from unchecked disease or pest populations.
The new 5 step on-orchard biosecurity guidelines booklet is available from KVH by phoning 0800 665 825 or emailing [email protected]. Copies will be distributed in the GAP grower manual update packs distributed by Zespri. You can also view and download a copy here.