23 May 2011

More questions over kiwifruit vine disease

6:02 am on 23 May 2011

Kiwifruit growers in Bay of Plenty say there are still more questions than answers about the PSA vine disease.

The bacterial disease was discovered on an orchard near Te Puke six months ago. Other outbreaks in South Korea and Italy have destroyed large areas of vines.

Since November, PSA has been confirmed on 229 orchards and 66 growers have removed a total of 87 hectares of vines.

Kiwifruit Growers president Peter Ombler says there is still a huge amount to learn about PSA, as it will not be eradicated, and growers have to live with it.

Kiwifruit Vine Health says a research and development programme is underway to provide answers.

General manager John Burke says close contact is being kept with Italy.