Pest alert: Myrtle Rust found in Kerikeri
- 09 May '17
Following the detection of the exotic fungus ‘Myrtle rust’ on Raoul Island last month, it has now been found on New Zealand’s mainland in Kerikeri. Spores of this fungal rust are easily spread by wind and, although not a pest of avocado trees, attacks plants of the myrtaceae family which includes many New Zealand natives (pohutukawa, rata, kanuka, manuka and ramarama) as well as some exotic fruit trees like Feijoa.
Growers can help by looking out for symptoms on their native myrtaceae trees for powdery, bright yellow or orange-yellow pustules on leaves, tips and stems.
For more information, please see the MPI update.
If you think you have seen this fungal disease, please call MPI’s Exotic Pests and Diseases hotline - 0800 80 99 66.
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New Zealand is a significant step closer towards supplying fresh avocados to Chinese consumers and opening up access to a brand new market for our growers, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and New Zealand Avocado announced Friday 17 November 2017. A series of technical discussions and the negotiation and signing of a protocol to agree export requirements for avocados have successfully wrapped up between MPI and China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), with input from New Zealand’s avocado industry. The next step before trade commences is an audit of New Zealand’s regulatory system for exporting avocados by AQSIQ in mid-December 2017. “Securing export access for our avocados into China is New Zealand’s top horticulture priority,” says MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne. “I would like to acknowledge the extensive work, support and cooperation by MPI, industry body New Zealand Avocado and AQSIQ officials in enabling this significant progress in New Zealand’s trade with China.” In the 2016/17 season, New Zealand’s avocado industry achieved its best ever season reaching a record breaking industry value of more than $200 million from 7.9 million trays. Avocados are still relatively unknown in China, but demand for New Zealand’s avocados has boomed. In 2016/17, New Zealand exported $155.5 million of avocados into markets such as Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Thailand – growth of around $64 million from the previous season. China is expected to be a significant market for New Zealand avocados. “China is very aware of the significant global increase in avocado consumption, the associated health benefits and the strong growth and huge potential in the avocado category,” says New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular. “Our conversations with Chinese importers show there will be strong interest in New Zealand avocados.” “Our aim is to create a globally competitive, high-value, sustainable horticulture industry delivering real returns to New Zealand,” says Tony Ponder, Chair of the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association. “We’re well on the way towards this, and access to China for our avocados will play a big part.” Avocado exports will join New Zealand’s other fresh fruit exports to China that include apples, kiwifruit, cherries, plums, citrus and persimmons. Martyn Dunne says the progress towards avocado access into China is a good demonstration of the strength of collaboration and positive, respectful relationships. “The progress to date towards securing access for our avocados is underpinned by collaboration and the positive relationship shared by both New Zealand and China,” says Mr Dunne. “MPI and the avocado industry are committed to getting our avocado trade with China underway as soon as possible.” Growth in the avocado industry is also being enabled through the New Zealand Avocados Go Global Primary Growth Partnership programme between New Zealand Avocado and MPI. It’s a 5-year, $8.56 million collaboration that has made real progress towards goals to triple productivity and grow industry returns to $280 million per year by 2023.
At this time of year, life is getting busy for avocado businesses. Unfortunately, when workplaces get busy, the likelihood of someone being harmed while working increases. Read more about how you can be healthy and safe in horticulture. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 all businesses have a responsibility to keep workers healthy and safe. “What this takes is some underlying health and safety planning and management as part of your everyday operation. It’s not just about paperwork, it’s about everyday good business practice,” says Al McCone, WorkSafe Sector Lead for Agriculture. “The key is in three simple actions: identify the risks work out how to eliminate them (or if they can’t be eliminated, managed) then make sure everyone in the workplace understands both risks and management. ‘Everyone’ includes contractors. There are specific requirements when other businesses are working on your property - you need to make sure you are aware of each other’s risks and are jointly managing these. “There are some real basics you need to get right, like making sure machinery and vehicles are fit for purpose and safe to use, or making sure that people are competent to safely do the tasks they are doing. “In addition, you need to pay real attention to the things that can cause fatalities and serious injuries – for these ‘critical’ risks, you need to work out how to separate the person from the risk.” WorkSafe New Zealand and Horticulture NZ have published a horticulture-specific guide called Keep Safe, Keep Growing: How to be Healthy and Safe in Horticulture to help you. The guide will help you work out:the best way for you to identify, manage and communicate health and safety risks to family and workers what part other people on farm should play in risk management. “Health and safety doesn’t just happen. It needs a conscious decision to make a healthy and safe workplace. ” says McCone.
Pests and diseases from offshore can cause serious harm to New Zealand's unique environment and primary industries; and the Port of Tauranga is one of many potential gateways.Biosecurity Week activities highlight the importance of biosecurity and the role that everyone in the Bay of Plenty can play in managing unwanted biosecurity risks says Kiwifruit Vine Health Chief Executive Barry O’Neil.“We’re looking forward to talking to people who work on and around the Port about biosecurity – it’s such an important issue and one that really does affect everyone.”“People who own and work at local businesses remember what Psa has done to the kiwifruit industry. There are bugs and pests that we don’t want here in New Zealand because of the devastating effect they will have not only on kiwifruit, but on the whole of our horticulture industry and environment.”“A good example is a particular type of bug we’re concerned about – it’s one of our most unwanted and called the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. It’s a major nuisance that attacks fruit when it feeds and ruins it. It infests homes and in the USA we’ve seen it stop people from being able to sit outside their homes and have a simple BBQ”.Port staff, transitional facilities, associated industries (such as transporters and other logistical operators), and biosecurity experts will be meeting at several events over the next six days to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of managing biosecurity risk.Special guest Ruud 'The Bug Man' Kleinpaste will also be attending several industry and community school group presentations during the week to discuss the vital role of everyone who works and lives in and around the Port and local community in keeping unwanted pests and diseases out of New Zealand.Throughout the week there will also be discussions with post-harvest facilities and transitional facilities to learn more about the frontline biosecurity systems they have in place. Biosecurity Week is part of the biosecurity excellence partnership between Port of Tauranga, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Kiwifruit Vine Health, NZ Avocado, Dairy NZ, Forestry Owners Association, NZ Customs and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.The award-winning partnership aims to build a port community committed to biosecurity excellence, with an ambitious goal of no biosecurity incursions coming through the Port of Tauranga. It is a successful regional example of the Ministry for Primary Industries, local industries and regional government, partnering to build a biosecurity team of 4.7 million New Zealanders.It also benefits from strong engagement with the science community, including a formal partnership with the New Zealand’s Biological Heritage national science challenge and the B3 (Better Border Biosecurity) science collaboration. This has been boosted by a $1.95 million co-funded research project with B3 to trial new tools and technologies in the port environment, monitor biosecurity awareness amongst the local community, and measure the impacts of changes on biosecurity risk.Port of Tauranga Chief Executive Mark Cairns said the week provides a good opportunity to strengthen the significance of biosecurity within the Port community. “Effective biosecurity awareness is critical to us running a successful business and being able to continue to service the Bay of Plenty region. The various events we’re holding for our staff, contractors and local businesses who regularly interact with us and our facilities will give us the chance to show people what they should be looking out for and what to do if they find anything.”“It’s an opportunity to demonstrate the good work that happens here at the Port, day in day out, to keep an eye out.”“Our people are at the frontline – they’re the ones most likely to first notice an unwanted pest on cargo, vehicles or equipment moving off the port. By knowing what to look for and reporting unfamiliar insects or suspicious looking pests they help protect everyone’s livelihood and the future of the kiwifruit, avocado and forestry sectors.”
Avocado grower and Avocado Growers Association Representative Tony Ponder has been elected as the new NZAGA & AIC Chair."It’s an exciting time to be in the New Zealand avocado industry, with an incredible increase in industry value and the positive collaboration throughout the industry”, says Ponder.Tony has replaced Ashby Whitehead who stepped down as Chair at the Annual General Meeting in August. Ashby served as Chair since 2013 and as a Representative on the NZAGA Executive and AIC Ltd Board since 2006.“I acknowledge the leadership provided by the previous Chair, Ashby Whitehead, which has resulted in tremendous progress and positioned the industry well for future growth.”Tony has been one of the eight grower-elected directors on the NZAGA & AIC Board since 2005.Tony and his wife Nicky have an 11 hectare avocado orchard investment in the Coromandel district, and more recently have purchased a 26-hectare property in Tauranga with existing avocado, berry and kiwifruit. Tony also has commercial kiwifruit interests acting as an independent director for a large family based avocado & kiwifruit orchard and packing company in the Bay of Plenty.Tony’s day to day responsibilities include Director & Chief Executive Officer of avocado, berry and kiwifruit exporter Southern Produce Limited. In this role, Tony is involved in the strategic oversight of the groups export and domestic business including the Avoco/Avanza joint venture with Primor Produce and Team Avocado. Tony is a director of several related collaborations and joint venture entities associated with avocado trading and investment.“The New Zealand avocado industry is experiencing a period of impressive growth – a huge part of that being due to the work being undertaken to achieve Primary Growth Partnership Go Global goal of quadrupling sales and trebling productivity by 2023”, says Ponder.NZAGA Grower Representative Linda Flegg has been elected as the Vice Chair of the NZAGA. Linda was elected to the Board in 2016 and is the At Large region grower representative. Linda is an avocado grower on the Kauri Point Peninsular in Bay of Plenty and has been in and around avocados her whole life. Linda, along with her family, run their avocado and kiwifruit orchard businesses in Katikati.
Dr Nic Gill shares about why avocados are the "Ferrari of fruit" and talks about avocados as a part of a high performance athletes diet. Nic also shares his favourite avocado smoothie recipe. Watch here: Nic Gill - avocado as the "Ferrari of fruit"
Dr Nic Gill tells us about why he chose to grow avocados and why he loves them. Watch here: Nic Gill - Avocado grower