New Zealand accounts for 33% of the world’s trade in kiwifruit, exporting about US$450 million annually. Kiwifruit production in New Zealand is entirely oriented toward the export market. The domestic market is small and is flooded with fruit that do not meet export standards. In the early days when it was only a minor crop , no sprays were applied. Today, presence of insects, scales, or insect damage can cause rejection of an orchard’s entire crop.
“In the early days of growing kiwifruit in New Zealand it was considered a crop that didn’t need spraying. The very small amount of fruit produced was sold on the New Zealand market without any major problems due to pests or diseases. Predictably as the area planted increased, and more fruit was submitted to the scrutiny of export inspection, more pest and disease problems were encountered and more sophisticated methods of control were required… Kiwifruit are readily attacked by leaf roller caterpillars, and as plantings developed it became apparent control measures were necessary, especially for export fruit.
There are still a few small growers who never spray at all, but their fruit is seriously damaged by leaf roller caterpillars, and there is no chance of such growers being able to export kiwifruit as fresh fruit.
As exports developed in the late 1960s greedy scale was noticed in significant numbers on the fruit and became a problem in meeting international quarantine standards. Greedy scale was not a debilitating pest to the crop, nor was it a problem to local market fruit, but for export fruit it had to be controlled along with the ever present leaf roller.”
Author: Sale, P.R.
Affiliation: Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Tauranga.
Title: The history of pest and disease control in kiwifruit.
Source: Proc. 33rd N.Z. Weed and Pest Control Conf. 1980. Pgs. 110-113.