1 Nov 2011

Kerikeri kiwi vines test negative for Psa

8:06 pm on 1 November 2011

The latest tests for the kiwifruit disease Psa in Northland have come back negative.

Initial testing last week of leaf samples from Kerikeri showed a positive reading for the vine-killing disease that has ravaged orchards in Bay of Plenty.

However, Northland Regional Co-ordinator for Kiwi Vine Health, Don Kemp, says further testing has shown the samples did not have Psa.

He says that has come as a huge relief for Kerikeri growers but he points that the the sampling and testing of Northland kiwifruit vines is ongoing and growers can't afford to relax.

Mr Kemp says that the experience of Bay of Plenty growers with the disease underlines how Northland growers need to be extra vigilant to ensure their geographic isolation keeps their vines secure.

Don Kemp says the biggest risk to Northland kiwifruit comes from transient workers who may bring tools and equipment with them that has been used in areas where Psa is present.