Myrtle rust still on the move
There have been many new myrtle rust finds since our last update, bringing the total number of infected properties to 331, four of which are reinfections.
The latest update from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms 27 new sites in Auckland, Wellington, Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty – three in Bethlehem, one in Otumoetai, one in Welcome Bay, and one in Whakamarama. Also, of note:
· surveillance continues to be undertaken in the known affected areas as well as high-risk areas in Northland, and the top of the South Island,
· myrtle rust has been found on public conservation land for the first time, in north Taranaki,
· and the ban on movement of myrtle plants/green waste in Taranaki has been lifted.
Because of the persistent nature of this fungal infection, and so that they have the best chance to control it over the long-term, MPI is adjusting its approach to management of myrtle rust. Treatment of infected plants now varies from street to street and region to region. MPI is working with affected property owners individually on options around self-managing infected plants where local elimination of an infection isn’t considered possible.
Although myrtle rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit plants or vines, you may see it on other plants on your orchard or home garden. If you think you have found it, don’t touch it – take a photo and call MPI on 0800 80 99 66.
Be on the lookout for big yellow powdery eruptions on either or both sides of the leaf; brown/grey rust pustules (older spores) which appear on older lesions; and buckled or twisted leaves which may die off.