Banana growers are reporting an increase in the incidence of ‘leaf spot’ in the north Queensland production area. If leaf spot is not controlled it can have a serious effect on banana production.
‘Leaf spot’ is the term which commonly refers to Leaf Speckle and Yellow Sigatoka diseases whose spores are easily spread in the air.
The banana industry guideline recommends that growers keep leaf spot levels on the banana plant below 5 % of the total leaf area in order to meet their general biosecurity obligations.
Banana growers are encouraged to take action to manage leaf spot on their farms by ensuring their de-leafing is up to date and they are rotating the types of fungicides used in their spray program to minimise fungicide resistance.
High levels of leaf spot infection in your plants will cause problems such as:
- delays in filling bunches
- reduced ‘green life’ in fruit causing mixed ripening
- increased costs for de-leafing and spraying
- difficulty in detecting exotic leaf diseases if they arrive in your area
- restricted market access.