Kiwifruit disease spreads to Coromandel

ANDREA FOX
Last updated 11:34 04/09/2012

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The deadly disease stalking the multi-million dollar export kiwifruit industry has been found on the Coromandel, just two weeks after an outbreak near Te Awamutu in the Waikato.

Industry biosecurity agency Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc (KVH) says it has received a provisional Psa-V positive result on four gold fruit vines in an in Whenuakite in the Coromandel. 

This is the first reported case of Psa-V in the Coromandel region. A verification process is under way and the result is expected tomorrow.

KVH has established a 'controlled area' within a 10 kilometre radius of the infected orchard.

The 18 kiwifruit growers in the controlled area have been advised, KVH says.

KVH met with Coromandel growers yesterday to update them on the incursion, explain the newly established ‘controlled area’ and discuss next steps and orchard protection options.

KVH chief executive, Barry O’Neil, said news of the spread of Psa-V into the Coromandel region is not completely unexpected.

“As the sap starts to flow in early spring, Psa-V symptoms become more obvious. There was a marked increase in Psa-V identifications at this time last year.

"We also received the first Psa-V positive results from orchards in the Waikato region only two weeks ago.  The Coromandel has been identified as a high-risk region for a Psa-V incursion, given its close proximity to Psa-V infected areas in the Bay of Plenty.”

“To find an incursion in another region is very disappointing. However, growers have learnt a great deal over the past 18 months and have responded swiftly and responsibly. Since being identified with Psa-V, the affected, and adjoining vines, in this Gold9 orchard have been removed and disposed of,” says O’Neil.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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