Australia: Open day provides insight into "ground-breaking" TR4 research
The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has praised the success of a Panama disease open day held at the South Johnstone Research Station on Friday (May 12).
About 100 banana growers, researchers and other industry leaders took part in the interactive event, designed to highlight the latest research and development focussed on Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (TR4).
Hosted by the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), the day included exhibits and a field tour, highlighting the latest Panama studies and on-farm biosecurity practices, focussed on the short-to-long term management of the disease
ABGC Chair Stephen Lowe said the half-day event was a unique opportunity for growers to not only view the latest TR4 advances, but build further industry confidence in the future containment and management of the disease.
“Panama TR4 is, and always will be, a constant threat to our industry. But, today was a chance to gain insight into the tremendous amount of ground-breaking research and development that is giving growers greater reassurance that TR4 can be managed into the future,” Lowe said.
“Australia is recognised globally as a world leader in the fight against TR4 and today was not only an informative exercise, but was also a celebration of the scientific efforts carried out by researchers Australia-wide, that is helping to protect our growers and industry.”
A key component of the day was the launch of the new Banana Best Management Practices, On-farm Biosecurity manual, which is the latest tool designed for growers to help tackle on-farm biosecurity risks.
The manual was jointly funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using banana research and development levies and funds from the Australian Government with co-investment from DAF.
Queensland DAF’s Team Leader of Banana Production Systems Stewart Lindsay said the On-farm Biosecurity BMP manual was developed in consultation with banana growers and Biosecurity Queensland staff, to provide a practical resource, to help industry implement best practice biosecurity practices.
“This manual offers a single point of reference on the best science-based biosecurity practices for anyone involved with the banana industry,” Lindsay said.
“Whether you have effective biosecurity controls in place or are planning to implement them, this is a valuable resource for any banana grower.
"It can help ensure you have the best on-farm biosecurity measures in place, which is crucial to protecting industry from all manner of pests and diseases."