Eight Waihi Kiwifruit Orchards Have Virus

Posted by Gold FM on 14/03/2012

kiwifruit 402 x 2

Most of the nine kiwifruit orchards confirmed to have the vine disease Psa-V in the Waikato are in the Waihi area.

Psa-V is a bacterial disease that was first discovered in Te Puke in 2010.

The spread of the kiwifruit virus has had a massive effect on the $1.25 billion export kiwifruit trade with the biggest fruit growing and packaging company Seeka asking for voluntary redundancies from it’s workers last year.

It’s still not clear exactly how the Psa-V disease came to infect New Zealand kiwifruit vines but it’s been reported to be present in pollen and other plant matter.

Some research points toward the virus originating from China, while other commentators say it was carried on budwood from Italy to France, Spain and Portugal.

The Waikato Regional Council is working closely with the kiwifruit industry to try to control the spread of the disease. Smart maps have been produced showing the location of infected orchards.

The virus only affects the vine and poses no risk to human health.

kiwifruit photo/toasto.com