Australia: Fourth Panama Disease TR4 detection made in Queensland
North Queensland banana growers have been asked to keep up their on-farm biosecurity efforts following confirmation of a further detection of banana plant disease Panama Tropical Race 4 (TR4) on the same farm in the Tully Valley were the disease was first confirmed a year ago.
The confirmation is the fourth separate detection of the soil-borne disease on the 166-hectare banana farm which remains under quarantine and is the only North Queensland farm where the disease has been detected.
Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) in a statement late yesterday said the detection involved a single plant which had been destroyed. Other surrounding plants would also be destroyed.
“Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a fourth positive detection of Panama disease tropical race 4 on the quarantined property in the Tully Valley,” the statement said.
“This involves a single plant which was identified by the Panama Program’s surveillance team and has since been destroyed. The property owners have today been advised of this latest positive result.
BQ said there would be destruction of plants in the immediate area where the plant was found, as has been done with previous detections.
“This detection is not surprising and there may be more in the future. This is why we conduct regular surveillance on the property and developed a strict set of biosecurity procedures for the farm’s operations, which are constantly monitored.”
Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) Chairman Doug Phillips said the detection emphasised the importance of continuing surveillance work and the need for banana growers to maintain their on-farm biosecurity.
He said the banana industry would continue efforts to support and offer assistance to the farm’s owners.
“The find of a TR4-infested banana plant on another section of the quarantined farm emphasises the importance of the surveillance work being done by Biosecurity Queensland to minimise the risk of the disease spreading,” Mr Phillips said.
“TR4 was first detected in our main banana growing region a year ago and while it remains confined to the one farm property, growers need to continue their on-farm biosecurity and to report any suspect banana plants to Biosecurity Queensland.”