19 Sep 2012

Kiwifruit body urges care when using antibiotic

3:03 pm on 19 September 2012

The Kiwfruit Vine Health organisation says it is important that growers in all regions whose blocks may be threatened by the vine-killing disease PSA use the antibiotic streptomycin in a responsible way.

In 2011, only kiwifruit growers in high risk areas of the Bay of Plenty were allowed to spray the bacteriocide, which is effective in killing the virulent form of the disease, PSA-V.

The organisation's chief executive, Barry O'Neil, says the Ministry for Primary Industries has just given approval for Bay of Plenty growers and those in Coromandel, Waikato and the Franklin District, where PSA-V has also been discovered, to apply to use streptomycin this spring.

Mr O'Neil says the cut-off date for using streptomycin is a week before vines flower or 15 December, whichever comes first.