Suspect Panama TR4 on Tully banana farm
Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) has advised another suspected case of Panama tropical race 4 (TR4) has been detected in Tully.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has been informed that one suspect plant from a banana property in the Tully Valley was detected through BQ surveillance.
The sample has undergone an initial molecular test, which has returned a positive result for TR4. It could be several weeks before definitive test results from further biological testing are known.
“BQ has served the farm owners with a notice that the farm is now a suspect TR4 affected property,” ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said.
“Obviously this is a very stressful time for the family involved and the ABGC has offered its full support to them, including technical assistance to help them comply with the regulatory requirements and to avoid further potential spread of this soil borne disease.”
In view of the new suspect detection, Mr Lowe urged growers to remain vigilant in their on-farm biosecurity procedures, such as removing all plant material and soil from machinery and footwear before they are brought onto farms.
“This news is clearly very disappointing for our industry, but it is also a reminder that TR4 is here to stay and growers need to do everything in their power to protect their farms.”
ABGC acknowledged the Queensland Government’s pre-Christmas announcement of targeted funding for feral pig control to help contain TR4, as well as continued funding for the TR4 Biosecurity Program.
“This recent announcement for feral pig funding focussed on strategic TR4 areas is very welcome, given that pigs are one of the ways TR4 can be spread,” Mr Lowe said.
“It is also essential for all members of the community, including those visiting the region to respect quarantine areas and stay out of all banana properties unless invited by a grower.”
The important thing to note for the public is that banana fruit is not affected by Panama TR4 and it remains completely safe to eat and handle.
The TR4 fungus only affects banana plants when the pathogen enters the root system and restricts the plants uptake of water, stopping them from producing harvestable bunches and eventually killing them.
Growers can access further information on Panama TR4, by logging onto: https://abgc.org.au/2017/07/11/panama-tr4-kit/
For further information please contact:
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