Jens Liesebach, KGI Lower North Island Representative
Game on. The first 21% of the new Ruby Red kiwifruit has been harvested in New Zealand, and harvest of Gold kiwifruit started last Friday in Hawke’s Bay. Other growers are close to starting harvest but might be delayed by the weather bomb forecasted at the time of writing. The new COVID-19 isolation rules starting from Saturday 12 March should help with picker availability. People with COVID-19 and their household contacts will only be required to isolate for seven days rather than 10. Also, those who have recovered recently from COVID-19 will not need to isolate again for three months if someone else in their household tests positive.
Growers should be aware of the potential fruit contamination risk from hand sanitisers due to a group of compounds called QACs. Commonly Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC) and Benzalkonium chloride (BAC). These can leave residues on fruit, especially if hands are still wet after applying sanitiser and then putting on gloves and picking fruit. It is advised to check hand sanitisers and avoid those containing the above compounds. Look for those which are alcohol-based, IPA (isopropyl), which are commonly used in laboratories and won’t result in any residues. Although hands should be thoroughly dry prior to putting on gloves.
The Zespri Roadshow in March was moved online due to COVID-19 escalation. One of the main subjects was the expansion potential of ZGS. Zespri has been growing kiwifruit in the Northern hemisphere for the last 20 years and forecasts a growing demand for kiwifruit in the future. New Zealand grown fruit covers a substantial amount of shelf space but would benefit from an increased supply from Europe and Asia. Zespri welcomes grower feedback and has created a webpage with further information, click here
KVH has confirmed that the new Pathway Management Plan for the kiwifruit industry has successfully been approved by the Government. Effective from 1 April 2022, the new Pathway Management Plan focuses on protection against a full range of biosecurity threats to our industry instead of just focusing on a single pest (like Psa) and provides for a consistent and more pragmatic approach to managing pathway risks such as young plants, budwood, pollen, orchard equipment and other items moved by people.
This new plan is an achievement that reflects the efforts of all who contributed to development, planning, and several consultation stages since the proposal was first announced in November 2019, click here.
Consumers are excited about the newly released Red kiwifruit, Ruby Red. Zespri is hosting an information session on Thursday 17 March at 3 pm for those interested in the RubyRed licence tender, click here for more information.
If the stresses of work or just life in general, put the jug on and watch Nigel Latter’s spin on resilience. I found it highly informative and entertaining, click here to watch the video.