Pests and path­ways – mon­i­tor­ing biose­cu­rity risks to New Zealand’s fresh veg­etable and arable in­dus­tries

The Mon­i­tor­ing Biose­cu­rity Risks Re­port pro­duced by Mar­ket Ac­cess So­lu­tionz Ltd for the New Zealand veg­etable and arable in­dus­tries has been re­leased.

NZ Grower - - News -

A key com­po­nent of the manag­ing risks project is the on­go­ing scan for emerg­ing pests in­ter­na­tion­ally.

This re­port is a con­tin­u­a­tion of a project that has been run­ning for the last seven years and is funded jointly by the Veg­etable Re­search & In­no­va­tion Board, Pota­toes NZ Inc and the Foun­da­tion for Arable Re­search.

The aim of the project is to proac­tively iden­tify pests and path­ways that may present a risk to New Zealand’s fresh veg­etable and arable in­dus­tries.

The re­port it­self con­tains:

• An an­nual anal­y­sis of Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) pest in­ter­cep­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion records on fresh pro­duce, cut flow­ers, and fo­liage im­port path­ways;

• As­sess­ment of pest in­ter­cep­tions against Im­port Health Stan­dards to iden­tify po­ten­tial risk path­ways;

• Re­port­ing of emerg­ing in­ter­na­tional pests which could po­ten­tially present risks to New Zealand’s veg­etable or arable in­dus­tries.

The in­for­ma­tion gath­ered in the Mon­i­tor­ing Biose­cu­rity Risks project on chang­ing pest distributions and bor­der in­ter­cep­tions sup­ports the veg­etable and arable in­dus­tries to pro­vide to feed­back to MPI when they are asked to com­ment on pro­posed changes to im­port health stan­dards. For ex­am­ple, MPI has re­cently re­leased the pro­posed im­port health stan­dard for fresh pump­kin, squash and but­ter­nut. Veg­eta­bles New Zealand Inc has re­viewed this pro­posed im­port health stan­dard and the MPI risk as­sess­ment against the lat­est in­for­ma­tion in the Manag­ing Risks re­port to en­sure that pests iden­ti­fied through this re­port­ing have been con­sid­ered by MPI in their re­view of the im­port health stan­dard and risk as­sess­ment of im­ported cu­cur­bita.

A key com­po­nent of the manag­ing risks project is the on­go­ing scan for emerg­ing pests in­ter­na­tion­ally. This scan in­volves mon­i­tor­ing a range of in­ter­na­tional sources, in­clud­ing: pest alerts, no­ti­fi­ca­tions from re­gional plant pro­tec­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions, sci­en­tific pub­li­ca­tions, in­dus­try jour­nals, and the MPI emerg­ing risks sys­tem.

The emerg­ing pest scan con­sid­ers those or­gan­isms that are, or may be­come, risks to the veg­etable and / or arable in­dus­tries. Th­ese are pests and dis­eases that are show­ing with

changes in their dis­tri­bu­tion (caused by trade or move­ment of plants, peo­ple or ma­chin­ery), or those that have had a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact in a new en­vi­ron­ment com­pared to their coun­tries of ori­gin or their na­tive range. As well, this scan­ning iden­ti­fies pests and dis­eases that have come to the at­ten­tion of reg­u­la­tory agen­cies or in­dus­try sec­tors. One ex­am­ple of an emerg­ing pest iden­ti­fied through this scan is the ori­en­tal tomato thrips (Cer­a­tothripoides clara­tris). Ori­en­tal tomato thrips is an im­por­tant tomato pest for Thai­land and in 2017 was added to the EPPO (Euro­pean and Mediter­ranean Plant Pro­tec­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion) quar­an­tine pest list based on its ab­sence from the Euro­pean re­gion. Its main host is tomato, but it has also been ob­served on other solana­ceous crops in­clud­ing cap­sicum and egg­plants. Ori­en­tal tomato thrips is of Asian ori­gin, but has spread to Africa in re­cent years. It di­rectly dam­ages fruit, leaves, and stems by feed­ing and dis­fig­ures fruit be­cause of the way it lays its eggs. It is also con­sid­ered a vec­tor of cap­sicum chloro­sis virus and tomato necrotic ringspot virus. Ori­en­tal tomato thrips is not cur­rently listed in MPI’s Biose­cu­rity Or­gan­isms Reg­is­ter for Im­ported Com­modi­ties (BORIC) – the reg­is­ter lists all un­wanted or­gan­isms (­sources/re­sources/reg­is­ter­sand-lists/biose­cu­rity-or­gan­ism­sreg­is­ter-for-im­ported-com­modi­ties/). If in­tro­duced into New Zealand it is likely that ori­en­tal tomato thrips will be able to es­tab­lish in tomato and cap­sicum glasshouses.

The potato psyl­lid / jump­ing plant­louse (Rus­sel­liana solan­i­cola Tuthill) was iden­ti­fied as an emerg­ing pest be­cause of its re­cent spread in South Amer­ica. It is na­tive to the An­des and has spread to east­ern Ar­gentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Rus­sel­liana will feed on many dif­fer­ent plant types and can also dis­perse and trans­mit plant pathogens. Th­ese traits make this a po­ten­tially eco­nom­i­cally im­por­tant pest of potato and other crop species. A re­cent study look­ing at cli­mate suit­abil­ity con­sid­ered New Zealand as a suit­able habi­tat for the es­tab­lish­ment of Rus­sel­liana if in­tro­duced. Rus­sel­liana is still con­sid­ered a lo­calised psyl­lid pest of South Amer­ica, but it will be im­por­tant to con­tinue to mon­i­tor the chang­ing dis­tri­bu­tion of this pest through the mon­i­tor­ing biose­cu­rity risks project.

Where the mon­i­tor­ing biose­cu­rity risks project has iden­ti­fied generic po­ten­tial risk path­ways or pests of con­cern, th­ese are raised as part of the project it­self, while in­dus­try spe­cific is­sues are com­mu­ni­cated back to the in­di­vid­ual sec­tors to raise with MPI di­rectly.

Fol­low­ing from the pub­li­ca­tion of the 2018 Manag­ing Risks re­port, the project will work closely with the veg­etable and arable sec­tor groups to ad­dress the key pest risks iden­ti­fied.


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