Banana freckle outbreaks continue to grow in the Northern Territory, with 12 more confirmed cases.
The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade’s biosecurity team has found evidence of a fungal pathogen in Fly Creek, Batchelor, Maracay, and the Tiwi Islands.
The latest findings bring the number of infected sites to 29 since the first diseased plant was discovered in May of this year.
Response plans are currently on hold to allow for more detailed monitoring to determine the extent of spread.
Ann Walters, chief plant health officer for the Northern Territory, said it was clear the current outbreak was more widespread than first thought.
“Biosecurity Northern Territory staff will continue to collect as much information as possible through continuous monitoring of where banana freckles are being detected in an attempt to determine how far the disease has spread,” she said. I got
“Our staff is in contact with banana growers and industry associations to keep them informed of this changing situation.
“This oversight is an important part of our efforts to protect the Northern Territory’s banana industry.”
Paul Burke, CEO of the NT Farmers Association, has urged anyone who owns commercial farms or backyard plants to check for signs of infection.
Banana freckles affect both leaves and fruits.
Infected bananas are safe to eat, but blemishes on the skin make them less attractive and less marketable.
Banana freckles also reduce the productivity of banana plants.
fungus Philosticta CavendishIt infects both Cavendish and non-Cavendish bananas.
Banana freckles have been documented in 27 countries in Southeast Asia, Oceania and India.