Top tips for harvest hygiene
Harvest season presents a high-risk period for spreading Psa-V or other biosecurity risks between blocks, orchards and regions because of the numbers of vehicles, machinery and people movements involved.
Growers are responsible for protecting their orchards, and others, by ensuring the movement of harvest equipment, people and bins onto and around their orchard is minimised.
Top tips for harvest hygiene preparation:
• Clear loadout areas of weeds before harvest. We’re in the high-risk period for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), considered number two on Kiwifruit’s Most Unwanted biosecurity threats list, so be on the lookout.
• Clearly mark parking and hygiene control areas.
• Allow only essential vehicles into the production area.
• Limit access to established roads and tracks.
• Make sure contractors and staff understand your hygiene requirements.
• Check all equipment - harvest bins, harvest machinery, picking bags etc. coming on to your orchard are free of plant and soil material.
• Ensure people check that clothing (particularly headwear and footwear) is free of plant material on entry and exit.
• Do not allow workers to bring imported fruit onto the orchard or provide measures to ensure this fruit is not discarded near vines.
Having extra people through orchards means more pairs of eyes that can be on the lookout for unusual vine symptoms or pests – or BMSB.