The latest on myrtle rust
There are now 271 properties infected with myrtle rust, 26 of which are reinfections.
The latest update from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms 14 new sites in New Plymouth, Auckland, Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty – two properties in Tauranga and one in Bethlehem.
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.
MPI is adjusting its approach to management of myrtle rust because of the persistent nature of this fungal infection, and so that they have the best chance to control it over the long-term.
Treatment of infected plants now varies from region to region and street to street, and includes MPI working with affected property owners on options around self-managing infected plants where local elimination of an infection isn’t feasible.
Although myrtle rust doesn’t affect kiwifruit plants or vines, you may see it on other plants on your orchard or home garden. There are recommendations for home gardeners, nursey owners, and beekeepers on the MPI website.
If you think you have found myrtle rust, 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.