The borders are closed but has our biosecurity risk gone away?
KVH is calling upon growers to ensure that on-orchard biosecurity for kiwifruit pests and pathogens is not forgotten and most importantly to keep an eye out for any unusual vine symptoms during harvest and report these to KVH for follow up.
If an incursion were to occur now – while the country is facing an unprecedented human health and economic challenge – the impact could be severe says KVH Biosecurity Manager, Matt Dyck.
While borders are closed, cruise ships berthed, and incoming trade a trickle of its usual volume, biosecurity risk still exists, especially from the spread of kiwifruit pathogens that may already be here in their latent (not showing symptoms) form. Coronavirus has clearly illustrated the challenge of managing pathogens during the latency period, where they can spread silently between asymptomatic hosts. The same logic applies to plant pathogens except the latent phase can be much longer than 14 days and extend out to months or even years.
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