16 Jun 2011

Zespri taking precautions over PSA

7:21 am on 16 June 2011

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri says it's taking all precautions to ensure growers who sign up to buy budwood of two new varieties it is introducing will not end up with plants infected by the vine disease PSA.

The company is selling licences for growing up to 200 hectares of the variety Gold Three and the same area of a new green variety, Green 14. Both were commercialised for the first time last year.

Zespri chief executive Lain Jager says the decision to allow another 400 hectares of new varieties to be planted or grafted took into account the risks and impacts of PSA.

Any new grafting are vulnerable to PSA so only budwood known to be unaffected will be released, he says.

Mr Jager says the Zespri Board will next week consider the feasibility of a licence buy-back arrangement with any grower who takes on either of the new varieties and ends up having vines infected with PSA.