The Australian Banana Growers’ Council has been advised that a Tully banana farm operating with Panama tropical race 4 (TR4) has had another suspect plant sent for testing for the disease.
The suspect plant was found on the property through routine on-farm surveillance and an initial molecular (PCR) test of the plant has returned a positive result for TR4. However, it could be up to several weeks before definitive test results from further biological testing (VCG) are known.
ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said while the possible detection was not good news for the farm involved, it did not greatly alter operations on the existing infested property.
“From the perspective of the grower involved it is obviously disappointing.”
“However, this farm has been operating under strict risk-minimisation biosecurity control measures since its initial detection, and a further suspect plant does not change the biosecurity situation on this property, because they are already successfully operating with this disease.”
The same farm had an initial positive TR4 detection confirmed on 26 July 2017.
“For the property to have gone almost 12 months without any new detections is quite remarkable considering this disease has spread so rapidly in other countries across the world.
“This is testament to our world-class biosecurity practices, which have been adopted on this farm, and have proven to slow the spread of this disease.
“We offer our full support to this family and we applaud them for their exceptional efforts to date in containing this disease, both for their own operations and the future of the industry at large.
“For other banana growers, it is another timely reminder that this disease is here to stay and I would urge all growers not to become complacent with this disease and to report any suspect plants to Biosecurity Queensland.”