NZ to launch new spray option for Psa-hit kiwifruit vines

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NZ to launch new spray option for Psa-hit kiwifruit vines

New Zealand's Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) and exporter Zespri plan to launch a new pre-flowering spray to fight Psa this Southern Hemisphere spring.

While KVH has highlighted the benefits of the spray KeyStrepto, which contains antibiotic streptomycin, the group has recommended use be put 'on hold' until protocols are finalized.

KeyStrepto use requires a Justified Approval (JA) certificate from Zespri, but the 'on hold' recommendation means these JAs will not be given until final protocols are put into place.

Once JAs are available, the spray should only be used by growers in the Psa-defined Priority Zones and the Bay of Plenty's High Risk Areas, while application cannot commence until after budbreak.

"Work is being done to further develop robust protocols for the use of this product. These protocols are being developed in consultation with beekeepers and other industry groups to ensure that the industry uses KeyStrepto in the most effective and low-impact manner possible," KVH said in a release.

"It is expected this work will be finished next week and outcomes will be communicated as soon as they are available."

Website recently reported around six new orchards were reported each day with Psa-V, which could put next year's crop 'in peril'.

KVH general manager John Burke told the website the industry was "preparing for the worst, hoping for the best", with advanced symptoms of infection showing on plants as they emerge from winter dormancy.

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