Preparing to fight Phytophthora

29 April 2020

We’ve added another new page to the Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted section of our website, this one all about Phytophthora.

Phytophthora is present around the world, including New Zealand, in a wide range of hosts. There are over 100 known species, with thoughts there could be up to 500 more yet to be identified.

It’s thought highly likely that under certain conditions (i.e. wet soils) kiwifruit would be susceptible to several Phytophthora species. Predicting which species will impact which cultivars, and under what conditions, is difficult if not impossible to achieve. Because of this, KVH is undertaking readiness planning and research for invasive Phytophthora species as a whole, as opposed to focusing on one specific species.

The new web page includes information about this work, images, fact sheets and other Phytophthora reference material to help growers understand the risk posed by this threat and how to identify symptoms.

One of the research projects detailed on the page is a survey of orchards throughout New Zealand being undertaken by KVH, Zespri and Plant & Food Research. Sampling of orchards was set to kick off in autumn (May), but while we all continue to support COVID-19 efforts, it has been decided to delay to the first round of sampling until spring (September) and under the appropriate alert level.