Biosecurity Queensland today confirmed the presence of Panama tropical race 4 on a third Tully Valley farm.
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council was advised that a vegetative compatibility group test (biological test) has conclusively confirmed the presence of the disease in samples taken from the farm.
The grower was issued a TR4 notice on January 23 after a suspect plant was found during routine Biosecurity Queensland surveillance.
Since then, the grower has worked closely with BQ and successfully complied with all their requirements. They resumed trading on January 27, just four days after the notice was given.
ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe praised the grower for their ongoing efforts at this difficult time.
“Obviously the confirmation of Panama TR4 on a third North Queensland banana farm is disappointing for the industry, and particularly for the grower concerned,” he said.
“But we know our growers are incredibly resilient and willing to help each other out in tough times.
“We’ve been preparing for the challenge of Panama TR4 and I’d urge all growers to ensure they have effective biosecurity measures in place.”
Measures such as implementing a footbath or footwear exchange, excluding unnecessary vehicle movement and managing plant material can go a long way in the fight against TR4.
Those living in or travelling to the region are asked to be mindful of quarantine areas and to stay out of all banana farms unless invited by the grower.
Mr Lowe also emphasised the fact that Panama TR4 has no impact on the fruit, nor does the industry expect any supply issues following this latest news.
“The best way you can show your support to Aussie growers is by continuing to buy bananas,” he said.
Panama TR4 was first detected in the Tully Valley in March 2015.
For more information on Panama TR4 and biosecurity measures, visit abgc.org.au