The curtain has closed on the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) long history of banana research at the Duranbah trial site in northern NSW.
The final trials at the site were completed in April this year.
The work at the Duranbah site was part of a national project, Improved Plant Protection for the Banana Industry, specifically addressing pest and disease issues.
Funded by Hort Innovation through the banana funded project BA16001, the Duranbah research
focussed on Panama disease tropical race 1 and cold tolerance.
There were three trial phases undertaken:
Phase 1 – Plants were grown with the sole purpose of determining if they survived Panama disease R1.
Phase 2 – Varieties that showed Panama disease R1 resistance were grown to collect growth data
including plant height, girth, cycling time and bunch data.
Phase 3 – Standout varieties, called ‘best bets’, were grown in semi-commercial plantings to determine ripening and handling conditions and to undertake consumer acceptance.
NSW DPI Industry Development Officer Tom Flanagan said the negative impacts of ongoing drought and pests meant that trial results weren’t definitive, with further research needed.
“Plans to relocate this valuable research to a new site are underway,” Mr Flanagan said.
“Growers can be assured the NSW DPI is committed to investing and engaging in subtropical banana research to help strengthen and develop the industry.