28 Sep 2012

PSA infection spike expected to continue

7:29 am on 28 September 2012

A spike in the number of kiwifruit orchards testing positive for the vine disease PSA is expected to increase further over the next fortnight.

The Kiwifruit Vine Health organisation says 155 orchards have tested positive for PSA in the past week, compared with 55 in the previous week and 35 the week before that.

Earlier in September, KVH said it was concerned growers were becoming complacent about reporting the infection on their blocks and urged them to report symptoms immediately.

Chief executive Barry O'Neil says that message has contributed to the spike of infections being reported and is likely to continue over the next couple of weeks.

Mr O'Neil says there is also an increase in orchards that are identified with PSA in spring as the vines come out of dormancy and growers are able to identify the disease.

So far 1579 kiwifruit orchards are infected with PSA in in the Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Coromandel and South Auckland - more than half of the area under kiwifruit production.