4 Feb 2011

New PSA orchard case numbers appear to be slowing

12:59 pm on 4 February 2011

An increase in the number of kiwifruit orchards affected by the PSA vine disease, appears to be slowing.

The bacterial disease which was first identified near Te Puke early last November, has now been confirmed on 141 blocks, in all major growing areas except Northland.

That's only two more than a week ago, compared with an increase of 13 new orchards the week before.

Kiwifruit Vine Health says the priority is to contain PSA on 34 orchards in the Te Puke area, which have an Italian strain of the disease which is more virulent.

General manager John Burke says 20 hectares of kiwifruit have so far been removed.

He says it could take the growers of these vines two or three years before they are back to full production.