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Ongoing project

Banana bunchy top virus project, phase 4 – national surveillance and education (BA18000)

Key research provider: Australian Banana Growers’ Council

What’s it all about?

With banana bunchy top virus the most serious viral disease of bananas, this investment plays an important role in controlling the disease in Australia. Project activities are designed to protect uninfested areas; limit and remove infestation from farms and then protect from reinfestation; and to reduce the disease range.

The program’s ongoing strategy involves risk-based surveillance and plant rogueing, conducted by surveillance teams. The regularity of farm inspections will be based on the frequency and intensity of the property’s prior infections.

The program also involves a suite of awareness activities, with an education program designed to enhance the involvement of growers, consultants and other relevant partners in bunchy top management.

Phase four of this initiative has been informed by Hort Innovation Banana Fund investment Banana bunchy top virus control data (BA17001), which evaluated the effectiveness of existing control strategies and pointed towards the most economical and effective management approaches to be implemented going forward.

ACT NOW

The project continues the work of Phases 1-3, reporting that BBTV remains contained within known biosecurity control areas of SE Queensland and New South Wales, with infestation levels remaining relatively static since the last update.

However, in comparison to Year 1 of the project, Year 2 saw a 23 per cent drop in infected plants within both NSW and SEQ plantations.

The team have been paying attention to analysing primary infestation sources that pose the greatest risk and impact on project resources.

The team updated core numbers for detection of commercial infestations. Within NSW, 78 per cent of all commercial infestation detections in Year 1 were on five properties, with 35 per cent of the total on a single property. In Year 2, these numbers were 70 per cent and 42 per cent respectively. For SEQ, 87 per cent of all commercial infestation detections during Year 1 were located at three properties, with 64 per cent of the total on one of these. Year 2 saw 97 per cent of all commercial infestation detected on three properties, with one accounting for 42- per cent of all detections.

The project remains committed to supporting commercial growers dealing with infestation. Steps to address infestation in residential areas has been supported through a combination of social media and successful engagement with community groups.

ACT NOW

Read the Policy on Grower Objectives and Expectations which is available for viewing on the ABGC industry website.

If you suspect bunchy top virus is present on your property, call the hotline on 1800 068 371 or email info@abgc.org.au.

Access the Spot Verify Report Destroy brochure for information about the detection and management process.

Read the Banana Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice for sourcing and planting of banana plants in an area where serious pests are present.

Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) remains contained within known infested areas of south east Queensland and New South Wales, with levels within the biosecurity control areas remaining relatively static over the reporting period.

The team have focused on analysing the primary infestation sources that pose the greatest risk and impact on project resources. In the past 12 months, 73 per cent of all commercial infestation detected within NSW was found on five properties. Likewise, 91 per cent reported in south east Queensland was from three plantations. When infestation is detected, each banana plant is destroyed to minimise further spread of the disease.

The team are committed to supporting commercial growers dealing with infestation, with consideration to maximising the benefit of allocated resources. They continue to consult and engage growers to share information, enhance understanding of control requirements and encourage participation in the program.

A clear project policy regarding grower and government expectations has been published and is available for viewing on a newly dedicated page of the ABGC industry website.

Materials to assist industry were published by the team, including the Spot Verify Report Destroy brochure and the Banana Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice for sourcing and planting of banana plants in an area where serious pests are present.

Steps to address infestation in residential areas has been supported through a combination of social media and successful engagement with community groups.

ACT NOW

If you suspect bunchy top virus is present on your property, call the hotline on 1800 068 371 or email info@abgc.org.au.

Access the Spot Verify Report Destroy brochure for information about the detection and management process.

Read the Banana Industry Biosecurity Code of Practice for sourcing and planting of banana plants in an area where serious pests are present.

Read the Policy on Grower Objectives and Expectations.

Related levy funds
Details

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund