In the news

12 May 2022

More fall armyworm pests found - growers urged to be vigilant: There have now been several sightings of the crop-killing fall armyworm across the North Island. Biosecurity New Zealand has had people on the ground checking maize and corn paddocks in areas where the pest has been found, talking to growers, and collecting samples, and staff will be available for ongoing support as required.

Farmers and growers at the top of the South Island are encouraged to keep an eye out for the pest, despite the lower chances of it being found in colder climates. Kiwifruit is not a host of fall armyworm, but it does feed on more than 350 plant species, so we encourage growers to check orchards and crops as always and report anything of concern.

If you think you may have found fall armyworm a great reporting option is to take clear photos and directly upload them via the new online reporting tool. You can also report via the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline (0800 80 99 66) or the KVH team/office (0800 665 825).

Is fluorescence an answer to diagnosing plant stress? Kiwifruit vines on some Bay of Plenty orchards are under intense scrutiny from above and below as scientists gather information to discover how fluorescence emitted by their leaves can be used as an indication of plant stress. 

The international research is led by Tauranga’s PlantTech Research Institute and funded by a $1 million grant from the Ministry for Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Fund, New Zealand’s largest contestable research fund.  

Government announces 'strengthened' biosecurity funding: New Zealand’s biosecurity is being strengthened as part of Budget 2022 to help protect the country’s vital primary sector and native flora and fauna. Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor recently unveiled $42.9 million to bolster the biosecurity system and $68m over the next year for M. bovis eradication.