25 Sep 2012

Northland steps up effort to remain Psa free

4:08 pm on 25 September 2012

The Northland region has stepped up its efforts to remain free of the kiwifruit disease Psa, which now infects four regions and half of the country's kiwifruit growing hectares.

Northland Regional Council and local growers are three weeks into a joint project to rid the region of wilding kiwifruit and abandoned vines.

Biosecurity manager Don McKenzie says if Psa got into the region those vines could act as a source of the disease.

Mr McKenzie says it's also important that orchard machinery is kept clean and rootstock and soil from infected regions aren't transferred to Northland.

The closest infected region, Franklin District, is about three hours' drive south of Northland.

Mr McKenzie says the local industry is worth $36 million a year and employs more than 800 seasonal workers.