Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted updated and out now
KVH regularly talks about fruit fly being our number one threat closely followed by the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), but how are these rankings assigned?
We’ve developed a risk matrix to provide a structured and objective method of prioritising threat organisms into a shorter list for the purpose of readiness and response planning.
The organisms that are considered the highest risk make up Kiwifruit's Most Unwanted. This is based on the likelihood of them entering and establishing in New Zealand, and the potential production and market access impacts should this occur.
Significant efforts are put into readiness planning for these threats. This essentially involves working with others in our industry, Biosecurity New Zealand and affected sectors to agree how we would respond to an incursion of these organisms and running simulations with KiwiNet (our industry response team) to test these readiness plans.
The Most Unwanted list has just been updated and many of the pests and pathogens that feature will look familiar as you would have seen them in the headlines in recent times – BMSB was found in December at a property in Mount Maunganui and there have been three separate fruit fly responses in Auckland this year.
However, there have also been some changes to the list, namely the addition of the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) which is becoming an increasing threat globally since its invasion into the USA in 2014. Kiwifruit is a host to this pest and there have been reports of damage to kiwifruit in both its native and invasive range with sooty mould growth being the most significant impact. SLF is a hitchhiker pest that would be most likely to arrive as egg masses on inanimate objects. Researchers in the USA say this pest may be just as devastating if not worse than BMSB.