2 Oct 2011

Kiwifruit vine disease spreads in Bay of Plenty

4:28 am on 2 October 2011

The virulent form of the kiwifruit vine disease, PSA-V, has spread to new areas in the Bay of Plenty.

The organisation managing the disease, Kiwifruit Vine Health, says it has now been detected in the Whakatane area in eastern Bay of Plenty and at Katitaki in the west.

It follows confirmation of Psa-V on an orchard in the Waihi area in the past fortnight.

Kiwifruit Vine Health says 17 new PSA-V results have been reported this week and the number of infected orchards has risen to 312.

Until recently the virulent, vine-killing form of the disease was thought to have been confined to orchards around the Te Puke area, where it was discovered in 2010.

With outbreaks now identified in new areas, Kiwifruit Vine Health is trying to find out how it has spread well outside the priority control zones established around Te Puke and on the eastern side of Tauranga.

It expects reports of the disease to continue rising as symptoms appear in more vines with spring growth.