4 Aug 2011

Kiwifruit Vine Health update due on PSA

7:05 pm on 4 August 2011

Kiwi Vine Health, the independent body responsible for overseeing management to control the vine-killing kiwifruit disease PSA, is updating growers this week on what they should be doing on their orchards during early spring.

Since it was discovered near Te Puke last November, PSA has been confirmed on 258 properties in all growing regions except Northland.

Some 56% of PSA orchards have the virulent, or V strain. These cases are at present confined to the wider Te Puke area.

Kiwifruit Vine Health general manager John Burke says that, during spring, growers should focus on the rapid identification and removal of infected vines, spray to protect new growth, and take all the precautions necessary to minimise the risk of infection.

He says the organisation is looking at a number of developments in Italy that are being used to control PSA there and that could be applied to the spring management programme in New Zealand.

Mr Burke says a subsidy on spraying copper on vines during the winter, which ended last week, will be re-introduced in spring for growers in the priority zones and high risk areas.