A vine disease that caused widespread damage to New Zealand kiwifruit is now on the radar of Chilean kiwifruit growers.
The Chilean Kiwifruit Committee is asking the Chilean government to help it prevent the spread of pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae, or PSA, according to a committee news release.
PSA was so devastating in New Zealand, it led the industry to develop a new variety that is more resistant to the disease.
Now the disease has been found in Chile. According to the committee, PSA is moving “timidly” toward the provinces of Talca and Curico, which account for 63% and 14%, respectively, of Chilean kiwifruit production.
The committee is calling for greater government controls in orchards, processing plants and nurseries to help contain PSA.
The disease could pose an “enormous risk” to growers, according to the release.
Because PSA was so devastating, particularly to gold kiwifruit, in New Zealand, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand-based Zespri International Ltd. created the SunGold, a gold/green hybrid that is less susceptible to the disease.
Zespri, the exclusive exporter of New Zealand kiwifruit, began exporting the SunGold to North America in 2012.