Kiwifruit Vine Health director Peter Ombler has warned that the vine-killing disease Psa-V disease, which was detected on the East Coast, might also spread Gisborne vineyards.
The disease has been detected in Hawke's Bay and now there are serious concerns that the fears could travel to Gisborne. Experts say that it is now known if the disease will travel through the region via wind or mechanical means.
“When it does spring up in Hawke's Bay that will definitely add a really harsh reminder to Gisborne growers that this could have been us in May, so let's do all we can to avoid it happening,” Mr Ombler.
He has advised the growers in the region to follow protocols and avoid the unnecessary spread of the disease to areas that are yet unaffected. The disease has now spread to all of the kiwifruit growing regions in New Zealand except five regions of Kerikeri, Whangarei, Poverty Bay, Wanganuin/Horowhenua and the South Island that are still safe.
Kiwifruit Vine Health chief executive Barry O’Neill estimated that the disease might have been present in Hawke’s Bay orchard for at least six months. Meanwhile, the total number of orchards with some infected vines grew to 1626, which covers about 58 per cent of total kiwifruit growing region in the country.