Banana growers urged to adopt zoning

Workshop will help banana growers battle Panama disease by zoning

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A workshop in NQ aims to educate growers on zoning to slow TR4's spread.

UPDATE: The Australian Banana Growers’ Council has informed that the November 8 “Zoning Your Farm workshop”, has been cancelled.

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NORTH Qld banana growers have the chance to find out more about the process of zoning, in order to slow the spread of Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4).

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Australian Banana Growers’ Council will host a free workshop for growers on November 8 at Silkwood that will cover one of the topic.

Panama TR4 program leader, Rhiannon Evans, said zoning aimed to prevent the spread of disease by controlling the movement of soil or other disease carriers within farms and at the front gate.

“Zoning is essentially dividing a property into two or three different areas, such as exclusion and separation zones, so the vehicles used in one area, for example, do not enter another if they are at risk of spreading disease,” Ms Evans said.

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“It is the foundation of effective biosecurity and is critical to trading with Panama TR4,” she added.

Ms Evans said the workshop would provide growers with practical examples and advice on applying this method to their own properties, or help them improve what is already in place.

“We’ll provide growers with a map of their own farm so we can get down to the nitty-gritty of how this can work for them,” she said.

“There will be informative presentations featuring real-life examples, as well as an opportunity to talk to experts one-on-one.

“Panama TR4 isn’t going anywhere, so growers need to do what they can to be prepared.”

Australian Banana Growers’ Council chair, Stephen Lowe, urged growers to attend.

“I’d encourage any grower who is able to attend to make the most of this worthwhile opportunity,” Mr Lowe said.

“The simple steps you take to improve your on-farm biosecurity now could prove invaluable in the future.”

DETAILS

Date: November 8, 2018

Time: 4pm to 6pm

Venue: Silkwood Hotel, 1 Edward Street Silkwood

RSVP: Required so we can bring the map of your property. E-mail panamatr4@daf.qld.gov.au; Phone (07) 4091 8140; Or register online: https://cutt.ly/zoningTR4

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