Australia: Second Queensland farm hit with TR4 disease
The Australian Banana Growers Council (ABGC) has called for greater government assistance after a second property in North Queensland tested positive to Panama Disease Tropical Race IV (TR4).
The latest detection in Mareeba lies 180km by road from the site of the first detection in another key growing region, the Tully Valley.
"It's now been five weeks since the first case of TR4 was announced and there continues to be an intensive effort from Biosecurity Queensland, the AGBC and our banana growers to ensure we find any other infections in our growing regions," ABGC chairman Doug Phillips said in a release.
"Confirmation of a second case of TR4 is extremely difficult news for our industry, and devastating news for the grower whose farm is affected.
"However, if there are TR4 infections on banana farms we need to know about them and we must continue to make every effort to locate and contain all cases of this plant disease."
The industry representative highlighted both detections were made after growers reported finding unhealthy plants on their farms.
"On behalf of everyone in the banana industry, we thank all growers for reporting plants that appear to have TR4 symptoms and ask them to continue to do so. We also thank Biosecurity Queensland for their continuing activities, including surveillance and testing."
Despite the new outbreak, he said the latest detection meant just two out of North Queensland's 280 banana farms were affected, emphasizing the fungus affected plants and not fruit.
He said production and supply were expected to continue as usual.