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News and views from KVH about biosecurity in New Zealand's kiwifruit industry. 

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17 Jun 24 Protocols & Movement Controls

Reminder to remove unpicked fruit

Growers are reminded that unpicked kiwifruit should be removed from vines to help limit wild kiwifruit plants establishing in nearby areas, especially around native bush, or forestry. Fruit ripening over the winter months provides a food source for birds (such as the wax-eye/tauhou) that then spread seed through their droppings, together with a small fertiliser package. A proportion of this seed can readily germinate. Unpicked fruit needs to be dropped to the ground and mulched. This prevents mass-feeding by birds over the entire winter period.
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17 Jun 24 Company Notices

Upcoming events – save these dates

The KVH Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place 9am, Wednesday 21 August, at Mercury Baypark in Mount Maunganui. This is a public meeting and anyone who is interested is welcome to attend. Special guest Dr Jacqueline Rowarth will be joining us to speak about precision breeding, followed by the NZKGI and then Zespri annual meetings. The KVH Biosecurity Symposium will take place Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 August, in the Stadium Lounge at Mercury Baypark. The event’s theme this year is “Building resilience” and you can register now here. The full programme is available on our website.
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17 Jun 24 Biosecurity News

Biosecurity tops agribusiness priority list again

Biosecurity has retained the number one ranking in KPMG’s annual Agribusiness Agenda priorities survey for the 15th consecutive year. With a priority score of 9.16 (the highest since 2021) the issue was raised in many of the roundtable discussions with leaders. KPMG notes that while great progress has been made in eliminating Mycoplasma Bovis, and the devastation that Psa inflicted on kiwifruit is becoming a distant memory, the likely arrival of avian influenza has brought preparedness for a major incursion into sharp focus. In addition to the increased risk of incursion, contributors noted that in the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle a range of new disease issues appear to have arisen. These are potentially sleeper diseases that have been triggered by the consequences of the cyclone. The nature of the biosecurity risks we face is changing faster than we are evolving our ability to respond. As incursions become less likely to follow traditional vectors and arrive via a port or airport, the capabilities needed to identify an incursion and respond must evolve and we must have fit for purpose emergency response plans. Also, the report makes specific note that it is critical that each organisation focuses on doing the things they can do in their business well. In responding to Covid-19, it was the small things like washing hands and wearing masks that did the most to protect us from infection. With the threats we face, it will be good farm management practices and hygiene standards that will offer the most protection. These key areas of response capability, planning, and the importance of consistent best practice are all main areas of discussion at the upcoming KVH Biosecurity Symposium. You can register now to save your spot - and the symposium programme is on our website now! View the Top 10 and biosecurity pages from the report here or view the full report on the KPMG website here.
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17 Jun 24 Biosecurity News

Fun Fact

A hunter has bagged an infringement notice for dirty boots – a big no-no at the border and on our orchards. Biosecurity New Zealand x-ray operators at Christchurch Airport intercepted the dirty boots, along with feathers and seeds. The items were spotted in May at the bottom of a bag belonging to an American traveller arriving from Australia. He had been hunting in multiple countries before heading to New Zealand. Unfortunately for the intrepid hunter, the items were undeclared, resulting in an infringement notice. If you (or anyone you know) is returning to New Zealand or visiting, have a quick read of our KVH poster with pointers on what to do before arriving at the border, and what to expect on arrival when you notify officials of your involvement in horticulture.
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17 Jun 24 Company Notices

Another busy Fieldays

We had a busy few days at the annual Mystery Creek Fieldays last week. Thank you to all of you who were able to pop in and say hello – it was great to see you. Growers were interested in biosecurity issues and the lunchtime sessions were well attended. If you’d like copies of the new pest ID card sets we had at the event, please get in touch and we’ll send you copies.
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06 Jun 24 Biosecurity News

On the look-out for vine disorders

KVH follow-up of unusual symptoms including “sudden collapse of vines” during flowering or leading up to harvest, often identifies symptoms which have gone unnoticed for some time. Leader dieback; swellings at, above or below the graft; swelling at the trunk crown (base); or cracking, cankering, or swelling of leaders and trunks is often not noticed, as the focus in any production year is generally on the canopy, buds, flowers, and fruit rather than the architecture of vines. A perfect job for autumn and early winter is to complete a monitoring round to assess and act on vine symptoms that have crept in under the radar across the years and which are indicative of kiwifruit vine disorders. Mapping of symptomatic vines allows insight into areas where gaps are emerging, or canopies are becoming sparse due to a decline in vine health. Replacement strategies, such as replanting alongside affected plants or stringing of replacement canes from vines in adjacent rows will allow for the cut-out of infected vines without a significant drop in production. The earlier infected vines are removed the better, as spores from the fungal invaders can be harboured in fruiting bodies within the infected area and spread via soil, water, and air movements. Infections in leaders and canes can also be spread by unclean tools and infections in rootstock can travel across graft unions and impact on newly grafted cultivars. Research projects initiated through the Zespri Biosecurity Innovation portfolio have identified several fungal organisms associated with the various kiwifruit trunk disease symptoms and shown that disease complexes rather than single species are generally involved. Regular monitoring of sites is valuable as new growing situations can change the status of fungal diseases. Different cultivars and rootstock may be more susceptible, marginal growing areas, environmental factors, stressed and aging vines, different management practices (e.g. girdling) and build-up of site inoculum are all factors that can lead to a change in vine impacts. Annual review helps ensure orchards remain resilient and successful into the future. More information on vine decline and trunk diseases is available here and an image library of trunk symptoms to watch out for is available here. If you have unusual symptoms that need follow-up, contact [email protected]
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