Moving orchard plants? What you need to know about the Pathway Plan
The introduction of the new Pathway Plan helps the kiwifruit industry to prevent the spread of pests and diseases before we know they are here. This will give us the best possible chance of eradication and will minimise impacts to our industry.
Our approach to risk management focuses on several key pathways. If we manage risk across these, we’ll be a long way towards protecting our investments from future biosecurity risk.
While most kiwifruit plant movements come from nurseries, growers may occasionally move mature plants between orchards. Orchard plants are a risk pathway, and it is important for growers to understand what’s required under the Pathway Plan (implemented 1 April 2022), as outlined below.
The movement of plant material presents the greatest risk of moving new pests and diseases around our industry. The kiwifruit industry has already made significant progress in managing biosecurity risk across the rootstock pathway with the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme (KPCS). However other plant material - such as orchard plants - hasn’t been managed to the same degree. With the introduction of the new Pathway Plan however, we have created more consistency and less vulnerability.
The Pathway Plan aims to manage risk associated with the movement of orchard plants by focusing on monitoring, traceability, and orchard biosecurity practices (such as hygiene and not collecting material from cuttings on the ground or symptomatic vines).
Psa is the only target organism currently. This means there are only diagnostic testing requirements for orchard plants being supplied from Psa non-detected orchards - the same as the current state under the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP). This approach provides flexibility for the industry and allows us to adapt to changing risk profiles of organisms and advances in science which may influence monitoring or testing processes.
What does this mean for you?
- If you are taking mature plants from your own orchard for use on that same orchard there are no requirements under the Pathway Plan.
- If you are moving orchard plants from your orchard to another orchard, or source orchard plants from someone else, you need to ensure that you are meeting the requirements of the Pathway Plan – by being KPCS certified for example.
- As a non-detected supplier, you will need to complete a Psa test.
- It isn’t onerous to become certified as an orchard plant supplier and there are no costs (unless diagnostic testing is required). The new Pathway Plan requirements are very similar to existing protocols. They do require planning in advance to ensure monitoring can occur while vines have leaves and are in active growth.
More information about orchard plant movement information, including the KPCS manual and supporting documents, is available here.