Video-Learnings from Panama incursion in Queensland

2018 ASVO Seminar; Frontline pest and disease management for healthy vineyards
Learnings from Panama incursion in Queensland

Jim Pekin, Australian Banana Growers’ Council

The Australian banana industry is being challenged by Panama Tropical Race 4, caused by the soil-borne fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense (Foc). This disease is regarded as the world’s worst banana disease because Foc can’t be controlled or destroyed in the field.  It was first found on a farm in North Queensland’s production area in March 2015; an area that accounts for 94% of Australia’s banana production.  As it is not eradicable, the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed was not triggered.  The banana industry was fortunate that the owner of the index property alerted an Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC) field officer of a strange symptom, as this allowed early detection of Foc.  ABGC received support from both governments to implement on-farm biosecurity training for growers.  ABGC also gained support from growers nationally and from the Commonwealth Government to buy the index property.  This enabled cessation of all farm use so as to stop the spread of Foc.  The presentation will have lessons for the wine industry on how ABGC in partnership with the authorities have successfully managed the disease to date, for the benefit of growers and the North Queensland community.