New Zealand kiwi crop could be huge despite PSA
Despite worries about the kiwi vine disease PSA, New Zealand could produce a bumper crop of the fruit next year, according to local newspaper The New Zealand Herald.
According to the report, Zespri official Carol Ward said that so far, signs indicate that there would not be an effect on next year’s crop.
"The extent of orchards with the infection is less than we would normally see in a seasonal variation so we still anticipate strong production," she said, according to the website.
Zespri reported that the industry earned $1.5 billion in 2009-10, with 98.5 million trays from New Zealand.
About 1 percent of orchards have tested positive for PSA, or Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae, according to the newspaper website.
According to New Zealand radio station News Talk ZB, bags of infected kiwi vines are being burned near Te Puke, where PSA was first discovered.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s Biosecurity division has warned kiwi growers to be cautious about artificial pollination and imported pollen, because a few pollen samples from past seasons have tested positive for PSA.
As of Tuesday, the number of orchards with PSA remains at 61.
Photo: The New Zealand Herald