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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

KVH works closely with Zespri to deliver a range of biosecurity research and development programmes for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.

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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

KVH and Zespri have invested over $16 million in Psa research and innovation to understand how we can manage the disease, and each year we invest around $1 million in research for other biosecurity threats.

Investment in science to understand the nature of significant biosecurity threats, and developing tools for their management should they arrive, is a priority for the kiwifruit industry.

KVH and Zespri established the Kiwifruit Biosecurity Science/Technical Advisory Group with the goal of reducing the risk and impact of biosecurity incursions to the kiwifruit industry.

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KVH, in conjunction with Zespri Innovation, leads a global research programme into Psa.

The programme was established in early 2011 and has enlisted the best scientific minds globally to provide solutions. We now have a toolbox for managing Psa, and our understanding of appropriate plant husbandry has progressed significantly.

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

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LATEST NEWS

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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The KVH portal is now the Zespri Weather & Disease Portal. Access all the weather tools you're familiar with.

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