Psa-V disease reaches new NZ kiwifruit region
Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has advised all growers in the area about the situation, including best practices, and has planned extensive monitoring over the weekend and a grower meeting next week.
There are a total of 49 orchards in the Whangarei region comprising approximately 144 canopy hectares.
KVH chief executive Barry O'Neil said the new finding was very disappointing and would be particularly hard for local growers and the regional committee.
"Whangarei growers and the regional committee have done a fantastic job at keeping Psa-V out of the region for more than four years," O'Neil said.
"The fact Whangarei is located between two positive regions, and is only now being confirmed with Psa-V, is testament to the highly proactive approach they have taken over the last few years.
"However, it has been a cold, wet winter and spring is always a nervous wait as we start to see what effect the winter has had on orchards."
He said this spring KVH had seen more widespread infection in all positive regions, which was worse than the last couple of years so this result in Whangarei was not entirely unexpected.
"Based on the symptoms found—dieback and exudate—it's likely the disease has been in the area for some time and the symptoms are now starting to show.
"Every grower in every region should be proactively monitoring their vines and maintaining a robust spray programme this spring to protect their orchards as much as possible."