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Growing media and compost

Growing media and compost

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Growing media and compost

Growers should have a high degree of confidence in the biosecurity status of all inputs coming into an orchard.

This includes growing media such as compost and mulch, as the movement of these could carry and introduce high-risk biosecurity threats.

Growing media has been included as a pathway for which there are controls under the National Kiwifruit Pathway Management Plan (Pathway Plan).

Psa-V is the current high-risk organism of the Pathway Plan, meaning compost providers need to demonstrate freedom of this pest. High risk organisms may be reviewed with any new information that changes the risk of spread on this pathway.

Mulch containing kiwifruit plant material should not be moved between kiwifruit orchards and is prohibited from being moved from Psa positive orchards to Psa non-detected orchard.

If compost doesn’t reach sufficiently high temperatures for an appropriate duration of time during the manufacturing process, then it can present a higher risk of introducing pests and diseases particularly if kiwifruit plant material is included as an input. KVH has developed a template to make it easy for manufacturers to demonstrate they meet the rules of the Pathway Plan, and provide growers with a simple means of checking for growers to recognise this tick of approval.

Producers are required to have practices in place to ensure that:

  • Product is free from high-risk organisms or that movements don’t carry significant risk.
  • Traceability records are kept including the orchard receiving the goods; the carrier taking the goods; and the dates of delivery of the goods to the orchard.

steps to achieve approval

  • Download and complete the Compost Manual, documenting how the requirements will be met.
  • Submit the completed manual to KVH by emailing [email protected].
  • KVH will issue approval once we are satisfied requirements are met, which may involve an on-site audit.
  • Maintain records and be audited to confirm compliance.


KVH investigates reports of unusual symptoms to identify and manage any biosecurity risks.

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23 May 2024

Fun Fact

We’ve got brand new pest ID cards printing and coming your way shortly. The flashcards have been created to help everyone involved in orchard work improve their pest and disease ID skills – they provide an easy way to identify some of the kiwifruit industry’s biggest biosecurity risks and are a practical tool for out in the field. They’re plastic coated and durable, and held together with a ring you can adjust over time as we produce new cards and update our Most Unwanted list We’ll have these with us at upcoming events and as soon as they’re hot off the press we’ll let you know so you can order some for you and your teams.

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23 May 2024

Smart sanitising

With harvest almost done and thoughts turning to pruning and grafting, now is a perfect time to talk sanitisers. Hygiene practices including cleaning tools on arrival, and regularly between blocks, bays, and vines are a known cornerstone to protecting vines from entry of high-risk organisms, and an important discussion between growers and contractors as they agree biosecurity processes for the season. A list of sanitisers effective against biosecurity risk organisms can be found on the KVH website. This research-based information compares performance of sanitisers on wood, plastic, tyre, and metal surfaces and so allows growers to choose the most suitable product for their use. Some good news also as the plastic holsters fabricated by a Katikati firm to provide a simple and effective solution to ensure tools are regularly sanitised are still available, with orders being taken now. Sanitiser solution is added to the holsters and topped up as required avoiding the need for staff to carry separate buckets or bottles up and down rows, creating a win-win for staff and orchard owners. To find out more about availability and prices email Frank at Hercules Tanks.

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23 May 2024

Biosecurity learnings from Australia

Earlier this month, KVH visited Cairns to attend the Plant Biosecurity Research Initiative (PBRI) Symposium. This two-day event is held every two years to highlight research outcomes from PBRI’s $69M investment in plant biosecurity. The event also provides KVH with an excellent opportunity to stay engaged with our Australian counterparts in research, industry, and government. Northern Queensland is a focal point for biosecurity in the banana industry, which is under threat from a soil borne pathogen, known as Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4). KVH visited some banana farms (as they are referred to) and was kindly hosted by Howe Farms to see what lessons we could incorporate into our own biosecurity preparedness for kiwifruit threats. TR4 has been sweeping through banana production regions around the world and was first detected in Australia in 1997 where it decimated the local banana industry. In 2015, TR4 was detected in Northern Queensland where 95% of Australia’s bananas are grown. The initial response was a scorched earth policy where the infected property was purchased by the industry and all host material (banana plants) removed and the earth left bare to prevent further transmission. While this approach may have slowed the spread, it has not eradicated the disease which is now known to be present on five properties in Northern Queensland. While the pathogen is not considered eradicable, the coordinated approach between Federal and State Governments, alongside industry has been effective in slowing the spread compared to all other regions where this pathogen has been detected. As a soil borne pathogen, on-orchard practices are focused at preventing the movement of soil and plant material between properties. Visiting banana farms provided KVH with an excellent learning opportunity to observe the practices used to combat a threat that is spread this way. Where applicable, KVH will look to incorporate these learnings into our readiness plans for other soil borne pathogens such as Ceratocystis fimbriata, which is considered our number one pathogen threat and has caused significant impact to kiwifruit growers in Brazil, as well as a wide range of other hosts around the world. Image: Managing biosecurity risk includes shipping containers with mandatory footwear changes and footbaths with separate entrances and exits (left); Matt Dyck from KVH visiting a banana grower, along with Brad Siebert from New Zealand Avocado.

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