21 Nov 2011

Signs of relief in PSA battle

5:46 am on 21 November 2011

There are signs that green kiwifruit vines infected with PSA disease in the Bay of Plenty are successfully fighting it.

Kiwifruit Vine Health says tests had confirmed a further 48 cases of the disease by the end of last week.

That brings the number of orchards with infected vines to 839, mostly in the Te Puke district where PSA was first identified a year ago.

Most of the infected vines are gold variety, although symptoms have been increasingly showing up in green kiwifruit vines in recent weeks and most of the new cases confirmed last week were in those vines.

However, KVH says it's become apparent that green vines, which make up 80% of the Te Puke kiwifruit plantings, are resisting the disease.

Chief executive John Burke says the number of new PSA cases is also declining, which will allow the kiwifruit industry to start the process of assessing the impact of the disease and the pathway to recovery.