4 Apr 2013

Drought saves gold kiwifruit harvest in North

12:29 pm on 4 April 2013

The drought that has plagued Northland this summer has brought an unexpected reprieve for kiwifruit growers battling the PSA vine-killing disease.

The dry weather has stopped the spread of the disease and, against all expectation, Northland's gold kiwifruit harvest is shaping up to be a good one.

Fruitgrowers Federation Northland director Rick Curtis says growers feared the worst when the virulent strain of PSA was reported in several orchards in and around Kerikeri last spring.

But lab results showed all the cases were false positives, except one.

Mr Curtis says the owners of that orchard acted swiftly to cut the PSA-affected vines out and there have been no cases since.

He says the onset of wet weather will no doubt change that but in the meantime Northland growers are preparing for a reasonable crop of what may be their last harvest of the susceptible 16 A gold kiwifruit variety.