Predicting myrtle rust with maths in wake of Tauranga outbreak

Rural Exchange 09/12/2017

Yet another outbreak of myrtle rust was discovered in Tauranga last week at two properties. The fungal, wind-borne disease has already laid claim to plants in Te Puke.

Dr Rob Beresford, plant & food research scientist, has created a mathematical formula for better surveillance of the disease. He joins Rural Exchange in the studio to explain his new model.

His formula, dubbed the ‘Myrtle Rust Risk Model’, will aid the Ministry for Primary Industries to understand and predict how myrtle rust will behave under New Zealand conditions.

[The disease is] very much favoured by warmer temperatures.

“We don’t know exactly how [myrtle rust is] going to behave in New Zealand in the long-term,” he says.

Watch the full interview with Dr Rob Beresford above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.