A grower kit, farm gate biosecurity signage and shed posters are among materials being supplied to North Queensland growers as part of the response to banana plant disease Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4).
The Australian and Queensland Governments have funded the materials as part of a multi-million dollar effort to contain TR4.
Biosecurity Queensland has mailed two grower kits to each North Queensland banana grower and farm gate signs are available for collection from five collection points in major growing areas and freighted to more remote locations.
As part of wider communications initiatives, information materials are also being supplied to backpackers and residents of banana-growing communities to provide advice on what actions they can take to minimise the risk of TR4 spreading.
This kit is has all the current information on TR4 and on-farm biosecurity practices in one, easy-to-use ring-bound folder. Pages are hole-punched so information sheets can be updated as required.
Two kits have been mailed to each North Queensland farm and contents are also online at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au and includes:
detailed information about identifying TR4
Biosecurity Queensland processes
standards and guidelines
industry and community support service contacts.
If you require further kits, a limited number are still available through the Customer Service Centre on free call 13 25 23. Biosecurity Queensland would appreciate feedback on the kits which can be provided via the Customer Service Centre.
This guide is in the grower kit and provides comprehensive instruction on washdown and decontamination procedures. It is also available in Punjabi and Hmong and can be accessed at www.daf.qld.gov.au
Farm gate signage
The specially-designed signage is made from UV-treated metal and includes a space for growers to include a contact number that anyone wanting to come on-farm must call to gain permission.
The signs increase awareness among local residents, farm workers, backpackers, tourists and visitors of the importance of biosecurity measures to protect our largest horticultural industry. Two signs are available for each banana farm in North Queensland.
For a limited time they can be collected from Tully Fire Station, Moresby State Primary School, South Johnstone Research Centre, Mareeba DAF and Cairns DAF. Signs can be freighted to North Queensland growers outside of the major growing regions.
All North Queensland farms should have received two UV-treated and waterproof posters specially-designed for use in packing sheds and outdoor areas. The posters feature advice about identifying TR4 plant symptoms and performing decontamination procedures.