Supply and distribution of budwood: what you need to know
The introduction of the new Pathway Management Plan in April 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.
Budwood is one of these pathways and it is important for growers to understand what the requirements are under the Pathway Plan from 1 April 2022, as outlined below. Growers will notice that these are similar to the current requirements under the National Psa-V Pest Management Plan (NPMP) with a few small improvements, but the significant change is the ability to increase or decrease requirements (such as monitoring and testing) based on threats to the industry.
Growers should have a high degree of confidence in the biosecurity status of all plant material being moved onto an orchard, and suppliers/distributors should be able to demonstrate how they are managing biosecurity risk.
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 budwood – hasn’t been managed to the same degree, creating inconsistency and vulnerability for growers.
Risk organisms to the kiwifruit industry can inadvertently and rapidly be spread between orchards and growing regions through movement of budwood. The Pathway Management Plan aims to manage risk associated with the movement of budwood by focusing on monitoring, traceability, and orchard biosecurity practices (such as hygiene and not collecting material from cuttings on the ground or symptomatic vines).
Where a pest or disease presents an elevated risk to the industry (and meets specific criteria listed in the Pathway Management Plan), KVH as the management agency can specify additional requirements for that organism, such as diagnostic testing.
Psa is the only target organism currently. This means there are only diagnostic testing requirements for budwood being supplied from Psa non-detected orchards - the same as the current state under the NPMP. This approach provides flexibility for the industry allows us to adapt to changing risk profiles of organisms and advances in science which may influence monitoring or testing processes.
A key driver for KVH is always to ensure an appropriate balance between risk management and cost for industry in meeting these requirements. To help make compliance easier and more streamlined, existing certification schemes (such as the Kiwifruit Plant Certification Scheme, or KPCS) are being expanded and used as a clear path for budwood suppliers to demonstrate management of biosecurity risk.
What does this mean for you?
- If you are taking budwood from your own orchard for use on that same orchard there are no requirements under the Pathway Management Plan.
- Budwood can also be moved between KPINs under the same legal ownership but no more than enough buds to graft 1000 plants per year and you must keep good traceability records. For movements above this limit, or to other orchards, you must become a registered supplier.
- If you are wanting to source budwood from other orchards, you need to ensure you are using a KPCS certified budwood supplier or registered distributor.
- It isn’t onerous to become a certified budwood supplier and there are no costs (unless diagnostic testing is required). The new Pathway Management 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.
- Distributors are those sourcing from third party orchards and moving to other recipients (Zespri, grafters and post-harvest may act as distributors). As part of their registration with KVH, distributors ensure they are sourcing from certified suppliers, and are required to submit traceability records.
Registration forms and templates relating to all budwood supply and distribution options are available on the KVH website.