In the latest Update newsletter to the industry, Communications & Engagement Officer at Potatoes NZ, Gemma Carroll, writes that the 2018-2019 Summer Season in that country is stable so far, with occasional short bursts of torrential rain and in the last week of January a heatwave has moved across the country from Australia, which could bring short-term challenges.
Overall there’s been lots of rain across the growing regions to keep our crops growing, Gemma writes. The wet season has also meant the occurrence of Black Leg (bacteria) and Powdery Scab, which has been a concern in some areas.
Both of these diseases can be transmitted via machinery and equipment and their presence this summer is a reminder to ensure we all practice good farm hygiene as we enter and leave properties, especially as Powdery Scab is the known vector for Potato Mop-Top Virus (PMTV).
PNZ will be working hard to encourage on farm biosecurity this year as part of our readiness and response approach to biosecurity.
Details of both these SROs, including photographs of symptoms, can be found in our latest edition HANDBOOK of pests and diseases for New Zealand potato growers – 2018 update.
As 2019 kicks off, PNZ continues to work alongside Biosecurity New Zealand in response to the Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) incursion. “We continue to gather intelligence, test tubers and carry out soil bait testing. The situation remains much the same as it did at the end of 2018, with positive tests in the Canterbury region so far – the only region where field testing has been undertaken to date,” says Gemma in the Update newsletter.