25 May 2011

NZ climate may speed up PSA spread, warns scientist

1:39 pm on 25 May 2011

An international plant scientist is warning New Zealand kiwifruit growers that the weather in this country favours the spread of the vine killing disease PSA.

Dr Joel Vanneste says it could lead to further cases and worsening symptoms of the disease in orchards.

He says PSA is spreading rapidly in France and Italy, but it could develop faster in New Zealand because of the climate.

He says in France and Italy the summer temperatures are higher and winter conditions are colder, which slows down the disease's development.

A $4.5 million research and development programme has been launched to find a scientific solution to PSA.