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Panama disease suspected at QLD banana farm

A suspected case of a potentially devastating wilting disease has been detected at a far north Queensland banana farm. 

Biosecurity Queensland is encouraging farmers to maintain strict biosecurity practices after the suspected case of Panama disease was detected on a Tully Valley banana farm.

The industry knew the disease would eventually spread after it was first detected in 2015 but it’s still bad news, says Australian Banana Growers’ Council Chair Stephen Lowe.

“This is definitely news that no-one in our industry wanted to hear,” Lowe said. 

The fungus attacks the banana’s vascular system causing wilting and death of the infected plant.

It has been estimated that 80 per cent of global production is under threat from Tropical Race 4, federal authorities say. 

The discovery of the suspected case was made last month, says Biosecurity Queensland.

The farm was close to three confirmed properties infested with the disease.  

Queensland accounts for more than 90 per cent of Australia’s banana production with most of the farm’s in the state’s north. 

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