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Completed project

Integrated management of yellow sigatoka and other banana diseases in far north Queensland (BA12007)

Key research provider: Australian Banana Growers Council
Publication date: Monday, June 15, 2015

What was it all about?

Yellow sigatoka leaf spot and leaf speckle are endemic fungal diseases of bananas in all major production areas except Western Australia.

Maintaining effective control of these diseases is vital to reduce their impact on cost of production and because of their potential to mask outbreaks of the similar looking but far more destructive exotic disease black sigatoka.

Both yellow sigatoka and leaf speckle are prescribed diseases, meaning growers are required by state government regulations to keep leaf disease levels below five per cent. Plant health authorities in the respective states have a responsibility to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements but in recent years, their capacity to undertake the necessary surveillance to ensure compliance has significantly diminished.

The major aim of this project was to provide a yellow sigatoka liaison officer to assist growers in north Queensland achieve compliance on a voluntary basis.

A 98 per cent compliance with relevant legislation was achieved through a voluntary industry approach as a result the liaison officer undertaking leaf inspections, educating growers about leaf diseases, and sharing information between growers, other stakeholders, government and university research staff.

The second aim of the project was to support growers in best-practice disease management by providing banana biosecurity extension advice on any other diseases.

The officer’s role changed as a result of the Panama TR4 incursion detected in March 2015, to focus on helping growers to implement farm biosecurity measures to prevent disease spread.

Related levy funds


Funding statement:
This project has been funded by Hort Innovation

Copyright © Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited 2015. The Final Research Report (in part or as whole) cannot be reproduced, published, communicated or adapted without the prior written consent of Hort Innovation (except as may be permitted under the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)).