Growers briefed on the season ahead

Top End vegetable growers recently gathered at Coastal Plains Research Station to find out everything they need to know ahead of this year’s season.

Around 35 people attended the field day organised with NT Farmers Association (NTFA). The Department of Primary Industry and Resources provided updates on biosecurity for 2017, including the national banana freckle eradication program and current research on Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV).

CGMMV was first detected in Katherine region in September 2014, before being found in Darwin and Ti Tree, and has affected melons, Asian vegetables, squash and cucumber.

Growers were provided an update on the three-year research project currently underway, funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia and led by Department of Primary Industry and Resources, with collaborators in NTFA, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.

The project focuses on improved in-field diagnostics, identifying CGMMV weeds hosts and non-hosts, the role that honey bees may play in the spread of the virus as well as multilingual on-farm biosecurity protocols. More information about the research project is available from nt.gov.au.

The department also spoke to growers about how on-farm biosecurity plans were working to manage CGMMV, and shared valuable information about how different producers were managing the risks associated with CGMMV.

In February 2016, the Northern Territory moved to management arrangements for CGMMV opening interstate market access for trade so that growers could return to production.

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