Thursday 14th June 2012, 16:16 Hong Kong
Zespri announces Gold3 release
Marketer grants 2,068ha of new Gold3 licences, the biggest release of a proprietary kiwifruit variety in New Zealand history
New Zealand kiwifruit marketer Zespri has released 2,068ha of licences for its Gold3 variety to the country’s growers, the latest stage in the cultivar’s commercial development and a big step along the industry’s Psa recovery pathway.
Gold3 has shown a greater tolerance to the Psa vine disease than Zespri’s original Hort16A gold cultivar, and the release of such a large area of licences for Gold3 is a major development for a New Zealand kiwifruit industry struggling to deal with the disease.
The release will be the largest ever shift within one year to a new variety for the industry; the 2,068ha of licences represents a transition of almost 15 per cent of New Zealand’s kiwifruit production area.
“The impact of Psa on the New Zealand kiwifruit industry has been devastating. Almost half of all New Zealand kiwifruit hectares now have some level of infection. With this transition to Gold3 we can see that around 1,600ha of Hort16A canopy will be cut out as a result of Psa since November 2010,” said Zespri CEO Lain Jager.
“The announcement today is a significant turning point for our industry both in terms of beginning to emerge from Psa and in cementing the future growth of the industry.”
Despite the positive aspects of the move, Jager cautioned that no kiwifruit cultivar was immune to Psa, and the industry still needed to work on management of the disease.
“Mitigating this risk will require the proactive management of orchards and an ongoing commitment to innovation,” he said.