Australia tests kiwi orchards with imported vine stock for PSA
Australian officials are testing the properties of kiwi growers who have used imported pollen or nursery stock for the vine disease PSA that has spread in New Zealand, the Australian Broadcasting Co.’s abc.net.au reported.
High-risk properties that used pollen from New Zealand will get priority, said plant biosecurity general manager Dr. Vanessa Findlay, according to the website.
“Those properties include those that have imported nursery stock from various places and also those that have used pollen that have come from New Zealand,” she is quoted as saying. "We've got a couple of properties in Victoria and a couple in Queensland that have been the main importers of nursery stock and pollen."
Australia halted the import of nursery stock from New Zealand three weeks ago. As of Dec. 1, 100 orchards in New Zealand had tested positive for PSA, according to kiwi exporter Zespri.
Meanwhile in New Zealand, a new group dedicated to managing PSA was formalized with an official name and purpose, according to a news release.
Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc. will carry out the containment strategy for PSA, offer financial assistance to growers and develop a long-term management plan, the statement said. The panel includes members of Zespri, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated.