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Leaf Roll Disease a Cause of Concern to Wine Growers

The New Zealand Winegrowers are affected by the type 3 virus which spreads by bugs and affects the yield and quality of grapevines//.

But most of the winegrowers have bought the national grafted grapevine which are tested vines and are free from the virus. New Zealand Winegrowers science and innovation manager Philip Manson said that a lot of research is being done to understand the virus spread and ongoing management and detection. Mr Manson said that the virus is not new and all efforts are being made to understand it. They are planning to release a report that would elaborate on the disease and the number of damage it has caused to the grapevines.

This is a potential long-term risk for the industry and steps are being taken to manage the crisis. Growers in Marlborough said that they were in a better position as their crops were not completely damaged as those of some North Island vineyards. Riversun Nursery marketing manager Robbie Greenslade said that the virus affected both red and white wine grapes. The affected crops yielded poor quality and quantity of grapes. It is estimated that a vineyard completely infected with the virus could cost the grower $12,000 a hectare a year with total replanting costs of $57,000 a hectare.


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