SURVEILLANCE teams will visit banana properties in the Tablelands region next month to check plants for signs of Panama disease tropical race 4.
Panama TR4 program leader Rebecca Sapuppo said the Biosecurity Queensland surveillance program would now cover all commercial banana properties in Far North Queensland.
“This financial year, the Panama TR4 Program aims to survey any commercial banana farms in Tully, Innisfail, Lakeland and the Tablelands that we have not yet visited,” Ms Sapuppo said.
“Previously, surveillance was conducted only on those properties that had been prioritised for inspection as they had some link to the infested property in Tully.
“The disease has not been detected anywhere other than the infested property in Tully. As we can’t be sure how the disease entered Queensland, surveillance has now extended to all commercial banana farms in the region. This is to further safeguard the industry against Panama disease tropical race 4.
“Prompt detection and destruction of infected plants slows down any spread of the disease. Growers’ chances of extending the profitability of their farms is improved if the disease is contained in its early stages.”
Growers can schedule their surveillance visit by phoning 13 25 23.
Electronic message boards advising of surveillance activities are placed at Walkamin on the Kennedy Highway. Surveillance operations are weather dependent.
Suspected Panama disease should be reported immediately to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
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