24 Jun 2011

Bury or burn infected kiwifruit vines, growers told

2:01 pm on 24 June 2011

Independent body Kiwifruit Vine Health has extended its high risk zone in Bay of Plenty for the kiwifruit vine disease PSA, following confirmation that three more orchards have the virulent strain.

Since it was discovered near Te Puke last November, the disease has been confirmed on 241 properties, with just over half having the more serious strain, PSA V.

The three blocks, two of which have cane dieback, are outside the immediate Te Puke area.

Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) has the responsibility of overseeing a management plan to control PSA.

It has extended the high risk zone to include Welcome Bay and Matapihi, just south of Mount Maunganui.

Operations manager Braden Hungerford says growers who find vines showing secondary symptoms should cut them out as soon as possible.

Mr Hungerford says growers who need to cut out infected vines can either bury material on site or make use of a mobile incinerator to burn the vines.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, staff from both KVH and kiwifruit marketer Zespri will be outside the Te Puke post office handing out fliers and bumper stickers about PSA in an effort to raise awareness of the disease.