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14 December 2011
Psa is having a severe impact on the premium Gold kiwifruit variety and production will be well down next year, a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry report shows.
The outlook for New Zealand’s kiwifruit sector and the impact of the bacterial disease Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae has clarified since the release of the annual Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture and Forestry (SONZAF) report in June.
MAF has released a half-year update which shows loss of vines since the virulent strain stuck in November 2010 could take production of Gold kiwifruit from 30 million trays in 2011 to 20 or even 10 million trays in the 2012 season.
Psa has hit hardest around Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty where 41 percent of the total planted area is located. At this stage, just over a quarter of kiwifruit orchards in New Zealand are known to have the bacterium present.
Overall, up to 20 percent of Gold kiwifruit in Te Puke could still be harvested, and up to 80 percent in the wider Bay of Plenty. This would yield an export volume of around 16 million trays of Gold kiwifruit.
Psa has been slower to affect Green kiwifruit orchards, but orchard infection numbers have ramped up during the 2011 spring. The impact of Psa on green orchards in the medium term remains uncertain.
Overall, export volumes are expected to fall 21 percent to 89 million trays, and export returns are expected to fall 18 percent to $862 million, for the year ending 31 March 2013.
The impact Psa has had over the past year, and will continue to have, on rural businesses and local communities has raised the question of the Government’s role in assisting recovery and MAF is investigating options.
For more information, go to the full half-year report in the Publications section of the MAF website.
Phil Journeaux, Manager North Island Regions for MAF Policy, 07 957 8313 or 029 957 8313
Jackie Bedford, Senior Communications Advisor, MAF, Ph (04) 894 0654 or 029 894 0654, Email: Jackie.email@example.com
Or call the MAF Medialine: 029 894 0328