As tropical weather activity increases over northern Australia, the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) is urging growers to ensure they are cyclone prepared this season.
Most growers in the tropical north are very well rehearsed in cyclone planning, having lived through severe tropical weather events themselves or witnessing their devastating impacts.
However, with the issue of Panama tropical race 4 now to consider, the ABGC is reminding growers of the resources available to them on the ABGC website, which can assist in planning and recovering from a severe storm, and reduce the risk of spreading disease.
“Severe storms and cyclones are unpredictable. And, we will never be able to control elements such as destructive winds and flooding,” ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe explained.
“However, there are still many things growers can do before and after a cyclone to dramatically reduce the risk of spreading TR4 – a disease which currently poses a severe risk to our national banana industry.”
By following the link – https://abgc.org.au/2017/03/23/cyclone-information – growers can access handy reference material and links tailored to assist in cyclone planning.
These include factsheets titled ‘Cyclones and Panama TR4’ and ‘Pre-cyclone Management’, as well as links to meteorological and other weather websites, including the Bureau of Meteorology and Australian ‘storm chaser’ sites.
(This information also can be found by logging onto the ABGC website and clicking on ‘Cyclone Information’ under the ‘Project and Resources’ menu tab.)
“Being prepared takes some of the stress out of what can be a very challenging time for everyone – particularly now that we are living with TR4,” Mr Lowe said.
“Many growers will already have some of these measures in place, however there are some steps that can be easily overlooked.”
One of the most important reminders to growers is to ensure their contact details are clearly visible on farm biosecurity signs, especially at the entry to any property.
This simple information is vital should emergency services, council or other authorities need access to a property once a cyclone has passed.
Controlling each and every person that enters banana farms and ensuring they comply with on-farm biosecurity practices, is vital to the future containment of TR4.
After a cyclone, growers should also:
- Check disinfection facilities are present and operational at entrances to the farm
- Have someone trained in biosecurity and decontamination stationed at entry/exit points
- And, restore critical barriers, even temporarily, to stop accidental access
To view the full range of cyclone resources available go click here.
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