Friday, May 18, 2018

Biosecurity Problems for North Australia - New Issues

Two biosecurity issues have emerged recently in the Darwin area, both with potentially catastrophic outcomes for Australian agriculture if not solved.

A few weeks ago citrus canker was detected in a nursery near Darwin, and subsequently found on six properties in the near Darwin area.  Today it has been announced now also found in the Kununurra /Wyndham area of WA with the source apparently from an NT nursery.

This is potentially a  major issue for the Australian citrus industry.  Early days, but eradicating it will be a big task.  Yet, in Florida where outbreaks occur with some monotony, it is also regularly eradicated from large orchards but using a cut and burn approach.  Serious stuff requiring a serious approach.

The other is a detection of Asian honey bees in Karama, a Darwin suburb.  The swarm has been eliminated, but they are seeking any nests and these require checking for varroa mite, the main problem.  This is some distance from the Darwin port, and with ports seen as a likely point of entry, the distance away from the port is perplexing.  Will be more to come on this one too.

If detected there are larger implications for the whole Australian honey and queen bee industry [ yes, Australia exports queen bees!].

Both early days, and there is more on this web site, and the ABC Rural has had stories on both subjects recently.

See - 

A word of advice - check your citrus tree or trees for citrus canker!! 

UPDATE - 7 June 2018

More citrus canker has been discovered.........with a number of trees including one with a severe infestation, discovered in the Katherine area.

Not a good find!

Check any citrus trees on your property, and do not move fruit or vegetative materials of citrus.  Check the link above for the current current situation.

This is a very serious issue, for local citrus producers as well as the huge citrus industry interstate. 

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