23 Sep 2013

Small growers targetted in PSA-V containment

7:06 am on 23 September 2013

Home gardeners and nurseries are being asked to play their part to ensure the containment of the PSA-V disease in kiwifruit.

Kiwifruit Vine Health says until now it has mostly been contained to parts of the North Island, but it is not just big growers who need to take note of the wind and water-borne disease.

National pest management plan compliance officer John Mather says it's not just commercial orchardists who need to be vigilant.

He says all kiwifruit growers are well aware of plant and machinery controls that are in place.

But Mr Mather says garden centres and nurseries selling kiwifruit or any Actinidia species need to be aware of the movement controls around the sale of those plants.

He says they can sell the plants, but all nurseries need to register with KVH and go through an accreditation process so they are only selling clean material.

Mr Mather says they know that the movement of plants is the fastest way to spread the disease, and home gardeners need to recognise the tell-tale signs of PSA infection.

He says that can include spotting on the leaves, a red exudate and when the vine is very infected then a clear exudate may be evident.

For the first time, PSA was discovered on a vine in the Whanganui area last week.

Mr Mather says a study by Lincoln University shows the disease could cost the industry $700 million over 15 years.