‘The vines really relish the ozone’
Tauranga kiwifruit post-harvest operator Allan Dawson oversees a two-hectare block which, having been infected with Psa, is being trialled with a BioFume overhead ozone-spraying system.
“What we've noticed with the ozone is a marked improvement in the leaf health and general vine health,” he says. “We're also seeing lower number of problems with insects so it's controlling them as well.”
While they sprayed coppers over winter, in the flowering period they dropped the usual fungicide programme in favour of using ozone and that worked a treat, with no impact on the bees, Dawson adds.
And though the vines showed a small number of leaf-roller insects when they came into leaf, that was quickly combated by increasing the duration of the ozone spraying.
“I see this as a relatively cheap way to apply protection to your vines,” Allan Dawson says. “The vines really seem to relish having ozone put on them.”