14 Jul 2014

New rules for kiwifruit nurseries

7:45 am on 14 July 2014

New biosecurity rules in the kiwifruit industry could spell the end of the road for some nurseries where kiwifruit plants are reared.

Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O'Neil said the new rules would mean nurseries operating in areas where the bacterial disease PSA was rife would have to grow their plants under shelter, to protect them from the wind and rain which spread the disease.

"One of the problems that we've got is that there are some nurseries that are outdoor nurseries in close proximity to infected orchards. And in those situations unless they change the way that they prepare their plants for sale - they will be impacted and some of them unfortunately may decide not to move into the new scheme."

Mr O'Neil said there was a long transition period until October 2106 to give those nurseries time to decide whether or not they would transition to the new scheme.

He said it was possible some nurseries - if they had been very isolated - may be able to continue growing their plants outdoors.