Psa found in Hawke's Bay kiwifruit orchard

Growers in Hawke's Bay are being asked to monitor their kiwifruit after an orchard near Taradale testde positive for the Psa virus.

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) said the positive test result on Hort16A vines in an orchard near Taradale was the first reported case of Psa-V in Hawkes Bay.

KVH Chief Executive, Barry O'Neil, said news of the spread into Hawkes Bay was very disappointing.

"Psa is without doubt a major challenge and it's having a huge impact on growers. Unfortunately autumn and spring are times of the year when we see the very worst of both its spread and impacts."

"Based on the symptoms seen in the orchard, it is possible infection may have been present, but undetected in the area, for at least six months prior to identification this week. In many cases, symptoms are not visible for some time after infection, particularly over the winter dormancy period.

"Growers can't afford to be complacent, and should act as though Psa-V could be present in their area. Growers must be proactive to protect their orchards. Doing nothing is not an option," said O'Neil.

Growers in the Hawkes Bay controlled area are being advised the following:

· Monitor orchards extensively and report any suspicious Psa-V symptoms to KVH on 0800 665 825.

· Implement and maintain a protective spray programme.

· Maintain strict orchard hygiene procedures.

· No kiwifruit plant material, including budwood and nursery stock, along with any potentially contaminated orchard equipment, can be moved out of this area.

KVH representatives are working with growers to ensure extensive monitoring of orchards is carried out. A plan for the region will be developed in consultation with local growers and industry.

For more information about best-practice orchard management protocols, see the Grower sections on the KVH website

- Hawkes Bay Today

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