Developing a national banana bunchy top virus management strategy (BA07014)
This is a final research report from Hort Innovation’s historical archives. Please note that as these reports may date back as far as the 1990s, the content and recommendations within them may be superseded by more recent research.
What was it all about?
The purpose of the project was to develop a national Banana Bunchy Top Virus (BBTV) management strategy. In developing a strategy a suitable method to conduct surveillance, analyse, and manage areas where BBTV may have been present was required.
Airborne surveillance was viewed as the fastest and most cost-effective method in collecting wide area information. The intelligence gathering process involved an innovative approach using both manned and unmanned aircraft fitted with a specially designed sensor payload able to collect high resolution natural colour and multi-spectral imagery with matching GPS coordinates.
Using proprietary technology owned and developed by V-TOL Aerospace and its technology partners a sophisticated online concept demonstrator spatial management solution was demonstrated. The technology demonstrated allowed for individual banana plants to be automatically located using software and multi-spectral imagery.
The data was placed onto an interactive web network titled Maptool developed by GENTOL. GENTOL was a joint initiative of technology companies V-TOL Aerospace Pty Ltd and Geogenx Pty Ltd. Australian Banana Growers Council staff and consultant’s together with Horticulture Australia and Department of Primary Industry scientists were able to view online high resolution colour video, multi-spectral still photos, 3D and 2D maps of the target area.
Through the Maptool user interface it allowed users with drop down command tools to then electronically allocate a task to eradicate the plant or draft a letter to the landowner informing them of action to be taken. Follow-up monitoring and imagery every 6 months updated the network providing a detailed situational representation of work and remedy action taken.
The technology demonstrated in this project had shown how though spatial and web-based technology a central and coordinated BBTV management strategy useful across many tiers of the decision process and across many jurisdictions could be achieved.
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This project was funded by Hort Innovation (then Horticulture Australia Limited) with the financial support of Australian Banana Growers Council Inc.
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