Myrtle rust has been detected in Northland, Taranaki, south Waikato and Te Puke. MPI has instigated an incursion response.
It is a serious fungal disease that affects plants in the myrtle family, which includes pohutukawa and manuka.
Myrtle rust is readily spread by wind and can be transported on clothing, vehicles and equipment.
Plant producers and our industry partners have an essential part to play in being on the lookout for symptoms and early reporting to MPI.
MPI’s 12/9/17 myrtle rust Stakeholder Update noted
Feijoas in the clear
"Since myrtle rust was found in New Zealand earlier this year, there has not been a single feijoa plant found with the infection. MPI has taken samples from feijoa plants in nurseries and home gardens where other plants are infected with the disease and the feijoa plants were clear.
This information, combined with Australian data showing feijoas appear to be resistant, has led to us concluding that feijoas present a low risk of spreading myrtle rust to other uninfected myrtle plants.
For this reason, there are no restrictions on the movement of feijoa plants within or out of the current Controlled Area in Taranaki. The Controlled Area Notice has been amended and a revised version is here."
8/9/17 - Myrtle rust has been found on 2 properties in the Otorohanga township – in both cases on a single ramarama tree. These finds are new positive detections of myrtle rust outside of the known established areas in Taranaki and Te Puke. MPI says these new detections do not have any connection with nurseries or other infected properties in Taranaki - MPI media statement
11/10/17 - With summer looming and with it, warmer temperatures, industry members have an important role to play in early detection of new rust infections and in helping limit its spread. Plant producers, nurseries and retailers are urged to continue surveillance, crop inspections and the use of NZPPI myrtle rust management protocols which have been updated to reflect the recent news that Feijoas are not affected.
NZPPI Myrtle Rust Risk Management Protocols
The NZPPI Myrtle Rust Risk Management Protocols have been developed for use by plant producers, production nurseries and garden retailers.
They provide a framework of supply chain biosecurity protocols for industry members to ensure the risk of our businesses becoming infected or distributing myrtle rust is managed to the best of our ability.
By following the NZPPI protocols industry members will be meeting the requirements set out in MPI’s legal direction, and NZPPI has worked with MPI to confirm this.
Myrtle rust on pohutukawa in Kerikeri
Myrtle rust on Lophomyrtus in Waitara
If you think you have seen this fungus call MPI’s Exotic Pests and Diseases hotline - 0800 80 99 66.
Take a photo - do not attempt to touch or collect samples as this may increase the spread of this disease.
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