Kiwifruit doesn’t like wet feet - but Phytophthora does
We’ve just endured a deluge of rain, and recognise this recent flooding adds to the wider concerns growers are facing as harvest approaches. A gentle reminder for you here that combined with an unusually wet summer, the rain has saturated soils and created ideal conditions for the potential infection and spread of soil-borne Phytophthora pathogens.
Phytophthoras are fungal-like organisms that thrive in wet conditions and are often referred to as 'water molds'. They produce spores that swim in saturated soils to roots that can infect and tend to cause more problems on vines growing in heavier wet soils; in soils that retain water for a long period of time; or when prolonged wet weather results in persistent wet soil conditions in orchards.
Now is the time to keep an eye out for unusual symptoms, such as reduced shoot growth and open canopies, alongside crown and root rot. As the disease advances, infected vines often produce yellow, chlorotic leaves.
Infected root and root crowns commonly show a red brown rot that is easily observed when cutting into the outer layer of tissue.
Be sure to keep an eye out over the coming months and if you notice anything unusual contact the KVH team on 0800 665 825 or Biosecurity New Zealand on 0800 80 99 66. Reporting the unusual is a good thing as pests and diseases can spread quickly between orchards and over large distances. The sooner we find out about something new, the more we can do to slow the spread and limit further impacts.