6 Aug 2012

Less than 11% of infected kiwifruit orchards sold fruit

1:15 pm on 6 August 2012

Only half a dozen of 57 kiwifruit blocks confirmed as infected with the PSA vine canker have managed to get fruit to market, a case study shows.

The Kiwifruit Vine Health organisation carried out the study with 57 Te Puke kiwifruit growers whose orchards were confirmed last year as infected. It says 11 were cut down before last year's harvest and only six made it through to producing a crop this year.

KVH commissioned the study to find out what key management strategies the six successful growers used.

It found that all the growers undertook a range of strict on-orchard hygiene protocols, which included covering hair and washing and cleaning hands, footwear, machinery and pruning gear.

They also reduced any outside human contact with the orchard where possible, and educated their staff about hygiene practices.

All six growers say that cutting out infected plant material directly after harvest not only reduced their management costs but also gave them greater peace of mind.