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Improving Kiwifruit Productivity in a PSA Environment Using an Elicitor of the Phenylpropanoid Cascades (Essential Oils).

What are Phenylpropanoids?


Phenylpropanoids are crucial for plant growth, development and responses to pest, disease and environmental stresses.
























Stress Induced Phenylpropanoid Metabolism.  Richard A. Dixon and Nancy L. Paiva 1995 American Society of Plant Physiologists Vol7 pp 1085 – 1097


Phenylpropanoids, or essential oils, are involved in protecting  plants from light, Ultra Violet rays and heat damage; from mechanical, wind, hail or pest damage; from low temperature damage, and from pests and diseases.  Phenylpropanoids also enable the plant to convert soil nutrients to a plant-available form.  The phenolic hormone Salicylic acid, interacts with jasmonate and ethylene and regulates the plants’ repair, growth and defence system.

The Elicitor: Agrizest


Treatment with the elicitor trademarked Agrizest results in pleiotropic (multi-impact) benefits that are attributable to phenylpropanoids.


Application of Agrizest reduces pest & disease, physical tissue and stress damage.



• Prevents physiological disease,

• Increases growth and promotes precocity,

• Increases yield without compromising quality,

• Improves quality and flavour of fruit, vegetables and wine.


This multi-effect has a big impact on net returns to the orchardist.


For example, in  New Zealand kiwifruit orchards, treatment with the elicitor has consistently delivered an increase of over $5000 per hectare in net returns.


Over the last 4 years we have proven in NZ and Italy, that applications of Agrizest can reduce the destructive impact of PSA on kiwifruit vines and deliver higher OGR in this PSA environment.

Agrizest Overcomes PSA Disease Stress and Improves OGR in Hort 16A


This highly susceptible Hort 16A gold orchard is situated in the epicentre of the epidemic.






The 2010/11 commercial split-block trial data shows that the elicitor treatment increased yield by 21% compared to the control.












The increase in yield was not at the expense of fruit size. A high proportion of the increase in yield was in the larger fruit size grade.


The marketable yield was much higher at 28% because the elicitor treatment also improved fruit quality


The net increase in returns to the orchardist was over $17,000 per hectare.

Management of Hort 16A Orchards Under PSA Disease Stress – a Case Study


This Hort 16A kiwifruit orchard in Katikati showed PSA disease symptoms in early spring 2012.  The season’s crop was successfully managed to harvest with applications of Agrizest and Biozest.





















• The orchard produced a record 22,000 trays per hectare in the low diseased block (G1).

• The moderately diseased block produced 14,000 trays per hectare (G2).

• The average fruit size was count 33 which is higher than the industry average.


The high OGR has placed the orchardist in a strong financial position to replace the Hort 16A vines with a more resilient variety.

Agrizest Overcomes Disease Stress (PSA) and Improves

OGR in Hayward Orchards



In 2010 /2011 a commercial scale, split block design trial was set up in this high producing (12,000 trays per hectare) Hayward green kiwifruit orchard.




















The orchardist had a $6600 (18%) increase in OGR and received a fruit size quality incentive of 30 cents per tray.


Agrizest in Italy



In Italy Agrizest application decreased the impact of PSA disease on productivity.








In this 7 hectare Hayward kiwifruit orchard in Aprilia, south of Rome, yield increased substantially from 90 tons in 2010 to 280 tons in 2012 – a 3-fold increase.


Trunk exudates decreased from 80% to 60% and in 2013 only 6 laterals had some exudates.


The plants were under less stress, therefore, the orchardist saved 500 Euro per hectare due to reduced need for irrigation.















This trial on an early variety (Green Light) shows a 50% increase in yield. The average fruit size also increased. The graph shows a proportionally smaller increase in the small fruit range but a big increase in the mid to larger fruit sizes.





Split Block Trial, Latina Italy.  Photos from Spring 2013.











In this Italian orchard in Latina, Gianni applied Agrizest to just 1 hectare of this large block in 2012.  These photos were taken the next season: in April 2013.  There is less canopy cover in the untreated control area.   The Agrizest treated “block” is more advanced in growth and also appeared to have higher fruit buds.  The orchardist reported that he did not find any “PSA” in the Agrizest treated area but did find PSA exudates and shoot die back in the untreated area.




Biozest Accelerates the Establishment of Re-Grafted Orchards (Italy)


Biozest, formulated for soft wood, has assisted the speedy establishment of new kiwifruit varieties.  This variety, grown in Italy, has been successfully established with frequent applications of Biozest.  There is no evidence of PSA or spotting.  Note the innovative cover structure in use on this orchard.












Biozest and Agrizest Accelerate the Establishment of

Re-Grafted Orchards (G3, NZ)



This G3 block was grafted in July 2012.  This G3 block reached full canopy by the 3rd week of February 2013.  Both Agrizest and Biozest (formulated for soft tissue and tender crops) were used.


This programme will enable newly grafted kiwifruit vines to achieve full canopy cover and full production quickly.



















PSA is a stress induced disease



The elicitor Agrizest can bioremediate abiotic (environmental) and biotic stress (pest & disease stress).




Nutrient Imbalance and Salinity Stress


There is excessive use of fertiliser in the New Zealand kiwifruit industry.  This has led to physiological diseases and salinity problems.







Allan Morton.  Effects of fertiliser nitrogen on fruit quality of kiwifruit fruit.  PhD project Massey University.




Magnesium Deficiency


In this commercial scale, split block design trial the control block is suffering from leaf breakdown disorder due to magnesium deficiency.  Application of excessive potassium fertilizer locks up the magnesium in soil particles and prevents adequate uptake into the foliage.

During the second stage of the growth cycle the scarce magnesium in the mature leaves is translocated into the young leaves.  As a consequence the older leaves suffer leaf breakdown disorder.













The elicitor treated block is relatively free of this physiological disorder and has healthy productive leaves.


High Salinity


High salinity in Kiwifruit orchards is resulting in premature leaf fall.  In this trial the control blocks prematurely lost their leaves at the end of summer.  The open canopy cover allowed higher light through and weeds grew under the vine canopy.















The elicitor treated block retained its foliage until end of autumn.  Very little grass growth is evident in the treated block.




Agrizest Mitigates Nutrient or Soil Salinity Constrains & Improves OGR


In a split block commercial trial in this Hayward orchard the control block is suffering from leaf breakdown disorder.  Agrizest treatment increased yield per hectare by 8%.  The orchardist realised an increase of over $6,000 per hectare in orchard gate returns from the treated block. An 18% improvement per hectare.









Post Blossom Treatment:

In a split block commercial trial in the orchard that was suffering from a salinity problem, 4 post blossom sprays were applied.  The yield increase was not as dramatic: only 2%.  This is because the sprays were applied post blossom only (instead of 2 pre blossom and 2 post blossom) it had no influence on fruit numbers or fruit set. However, due to a healthier canopy, the quality of the fruit improved dramatically – a 19% improvement in TZG payment.







Agrizest Mitigates Stress from Frost Damage & Improves OGR


Cold, frosty or wet, windy conditions can be conducive to PSA disease.[2]














The photos show how Agrizest treated vines (on the right) recovered from frost damage and, at blossom time, had full healthy canopy. The untreated block has not fully recovered: poor canopy cover and smaller leaves are evident.







The data shows that application of Agrizest on a block that was damaged in the 2006 spring frost overcame the frost damage stress and delivered higher OGR than the undamaged control block



Any physical wounding damage to the vine is a risk for PSA infection.











Agrizest treatment is a safer and more sustainable option to girdling.  In this trial the yield was 13% less in the declining Agrizest treated block.  But the Agrizest treated block produced higher quality fruit than the ‘healthier’ untreated block – the Agrizest treated block produced an extra 528 trays per hectare of Class 1 fruit.










Cane girdling did not result in higher TZG or dry matter production in the control block.

Agrizest treatment is a much safer and better practice to improve fruit quality.









Trunk Girlde

Cane Girdle

Leaf Stress (4 days after cane girdle)

Agrizest: Elicitor of Phenylpropanoid Cascades - Reduces Abiotic & Biotic Stress and Increases Quality & Productivity


Agrizest strengthens the plants health status and assists the plant to reduce disease manifestation.


Agrizest is a useful weapon in the armoury to reduce PSA disease risk factors associated with current orchard management practices and also environmental factors that are conducive to PSA disease.


Agrizest based solutions are not a cost bleed on managing orchards in PSA environment because Agrizest application will improve quality and productivity to deliver a substantial increase in OGR.

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