Wild kiwifruit poses problem in Bay of Plenty
While kiwifruit are among Bay of Plenty's biggest export earners, they also have the potential to become one of the region's biggest pests.As the kiwifruit picking and packing season gets busier, orchardists and farmers are being reminded to take precauti
While kiwifruit are among Bay of Plenty's biggest export earners, they also have the potential to become one of the region's biggest pests.
As the kiwifruit picking and packing season gets busier, orchardists and farmers are being reminded to take precautions to make sure reject kiwifruit do not become an environmental problem.
Environment Bay of Plenty pest plant officer Des Pooley said farmers were keen to use the fruit as stock feed, but they needed to be aware that kiwifruit could spread into the local environment and cause a serious pest problem.
Wild kiwifruit is classified as a total control pest plant in Environment Bay of Plenty's regional pest management strategy, which means landowners are required to control any naturalised or unmanaged plants found on their property.
Wild kiwifruit could establish and spread into native bush and had the potential to become as bad as old man's beard, a vigorous plant known for smothering large areas of native forest remnants.
Mr Pooley said the way kiwifruit was stored and fed to stock was very important.
"A number of birds, particularly waxeyes, find the fruit an easy food source," he said.
"The seeds are spread far and wide in their droppings. Each fruit contains approximately 1100 seeds so the potential for its spread is substantial."
Environment Bay of Plenty and New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated work collaboratively to manage and fund the wild kiwifruit control programme.
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