Vegetables New Zealand

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Potato & Tomato Psyllid monitoring

Regular monitoring for the tomato / potato psyllid is essential for effective control.  Two types of monitoring can be carried out.  Placement of yellow sticky traps indicate when adults are prevalent in the area, but not enough is yet known to establish control thresholds.  The other options is inspecting plants (particularly the lower 1/3 of stems and leaves) which gives valuable information on the numbers and life stages present in the crop, and can be used to direct to types of control products to be used. 

It is also useful to monitor (or preferably remove) alternative hosts which include the common weeds dandelion, amaranth, convolulus, jimson weed, mallow, and black nightshade. Ornamental solanaceous plants are also potential hosts, and so is the native plant poroporo.

Psyllid monitoring is now being carried out at sites across New Zealand as part of the Sustainable Psyllid Management SFF project.  This data, along with the latest information on psyllid monitoring, is available on the Potatoes New Zealand website.


Candidatus Liberibacter and the Potato & Tomato Psyllid

MPI Biosecurity NZ temporarily withdrew its phytosanitary certification for the export of tomatoes and capsicums on Tuesday 3 June 2008. We are of the opinion that the application of a prohibition or other phytosanitary measures to tomato and capsicum fruit is not the best approach to take. This opinion is based on an evaluation of the likelihood of the new Liberibacter being introduced into another country through trade in tomato and capsicum fruit. Although little is known about the Liberibacter in tomatoes and capsicums, much can be drawn from the biology of other members of this genus, and the application of phytosanitary principles.

The new potato & tomato psyllid code of practice can be downloaded here, and grower guide can be downloaded here. The results of the latest research into Liberibacter can be found on this website's members only page for research reports, which can be found here. Emergency measures for market access into Australia for tomatoes and capsicums are detailed here, and the temporary phytosanitary compliance programme for the export of capsicum and tomato fruit to Australia can be downloaded here.

  • Click here to download a 8 December 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 7 November 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 26 October 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from Horticulture New Zealand.
  • Click here to download a 25 August 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from Horticulture New Zealand.
  • Click here to download a 22 August 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 25 July 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from Horticulture New Zealand.
  • Click here to download a 24 July 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download an 11 July 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 3 July 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 26 June 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from Horticulture New Zealand.
  • Click here to download a 24 June 2008 update on Candidatus Liberibacter from MAFBNZ.
  • Click here to download a 20 June 2008 report from MAFBNZ summarizing the process followed to diagnose this disease.
  • Click here to download a 3 June 2008 letter to growers from Horticulture New Zealand.

The potato & tomato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) was originally found in 2006 on tomatoes and potatoes in the Auckland and Waikato regions. Adults look like tiny cicadas, 2 - 3 mm long. It is a serious pest of potatoes and tomatoes, as well as capsicum and other solanaceous crops and difficult to control. In 2007 the psyllid spread south and was also found in Nelson. In 2008 it was also found in outdoor tomato crops in the Hawkes Bay and Gisborne, but its ultimate range may be limited to areas with winter temperatures above 0ºC.  A fact sheet on the psyllid was published by Plant & Food Research in March 2009, and can be downloaded by clicking here.

Please click here to download a poster with information on this pest, click here to download some fact cards, or click here to view MPI's information on this species.


Resource Inventory and Carbon Footprint for Greenhouse Tomatoes and Capsicums

MPI SFF and FTPG Project: L07/026 (funded by MAF's Sustainable Farming Fund & the Fresh Tomato Product Group.

The carbon footprint of greenhouse produced vegetables; e.g. tomatoes and capsicums to the "farm gate" is larger than any other horticultural crop, although the profiles are likely to start converging when the system boundary is extended to include postharvest emissions. 

Where greenhouse production has large emissions due to heating, as the fruit is picked and consumed within a couple of weeks they have a small refrigeration requirement and negligible losses.  Other fruit that can be stored for long periods of time and slowly released onto the market while having lower production emissions have an ever increasing postharvest carbon footprint.
 
Although this project has established a carbon footprint for NZ greenhouse tomatoes and capsicums it is largely a meaningless number.  Even when compared to the carbon footprint of other food it is only one aspect (if the information is available) that consumers may consider when making their purchasing decision. For example it is doubtful that a customer is going to choose an onion over a greenhouse tomato because the latter has a higher carbon footprint. 

Of more importance than the carbon number itself, is how that number is being lowered.  Greenhouse heating dominates the carbon footprint, so consequently the priority for improvements should focus in this area.  Not surprisingly due to the increasing energy costs and some quick payback opportunities for improvement, the industry already has a number of initiatives in place to ensure greenhouse heating and profitability is improved.