For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Gabrielle Easter



Friday 10th April 2015, 15:15 Melbourne

TR4 hits second banana farm

Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed a second banana plantation in Australia has been infected with the Panama tropical race 4 disease

TR4 hits second banana farm

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A second banana farm has tested positive for Panama tropical race 4 (TR4) disease in Australia, around 200km north-west of the Tully farm that tested positive for the disease in March.

Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed the detection and quarantined the North Queensland property while authorities determine how wide spread the disease has become.

"It's early days of course, it's a shock for the producer — it's only been this morning so yes, in effect it is in lockdown," chief biosecurity officer Jim Thompson told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on 10 April. "Our focus remains on controlling and containing the disease while we can further determine the extent … slowing the spread is still the best way we can keep the banana industry going for many years.

"It is a slow-moving disease. There's plenty of life left in the industry at the moment and we will continue to work hard to make sure we slow the spread of the disease."

The Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) has been working alongside Biosecurity Queenland to contain the disease that’s threatening Australia’s A$600m banana industry.

“It’s now been five weeks since the first case of TR4 was announced and there continues to be an intensive effort from Biosecurity Queensland, the ABGC and our banana growers to ensure we find any other infections in our growing regions,” said ABGC chairman Doug Phillips said. “The ABGC has two major priorities, firstly to work with and support the growers from the two affected farms and, secondly, to make sure all our other growers gain every assistance in their efforts to contain this disease.”

The ABGC destroyed the infected banana plants on the Tully property where the disease was first detected in March, hoping to stop the spread of the banana-killing disease.

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