Lime tree with citrus canker detected in Darwin backyard
7 November 2018
By Nathan Hancock, CEO, Citrus Australia
A further citrus plant infected with citrus canker has been detected in Darwin as part of the ongoing work of the citrus canker emergency response team.
The affected plant, a Tahitian lime, was located in the suburb of Nakara, and a restricted area has now been declared around the detection. Movement restrictions for citrus and host plant and material are now in place in the Nakara restricted area, aimed at limiting the spread of the disease in the Northern Territory.
The Nakara restricted area does not impact any commercial citrus growers; a map of the restricted area can be viewed on the Northern Territory government’s citrus canker web page, www.nt.gov.au/citruscanker
This takes the total number of citrus canker infected premises (IPs) to 16; 13 in the north of the Northern Territory (NT) and 3 in northern Western Australia (WA).
Surveillance for citrus canker continues across the Kimberley and northern Western Australia, however no further infections have been found since 8 May 2018.
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has developed a newsletter that aims to inform growers of the latest activities in the response. It can be accessed at outbreak.gov.au
Jeff Milne, the National Citrus Surveillance Coordinator has been visiting regions with other Citrus Australia staff to gain an understanding of the industry’s needs. Jeff has been developing and gathering resources for growers which are available on our website. He and I attended a NSW DPI citrus canker simulation that sought to find gaps in the skills and resources available to respond to an exotic pest outbreak in NSW.
I’ve been involved in the review of the response plan and development of a strategy to continue the response whilst eradication remains feasible. I continue to represent industry at a range of meetings and working groups and remain confident that with the current set of circumstances the response is sufficiently resourced and focused on the successful eradication of citrus canker.
You as growers should take steps to ensure your own properties are protected. If you are placing orders for trees, consider the following:
• Does the nursery use Auscitrus budwood?
• Is the nursey NIASA-accredited?
If you have nursery trees in production, ensure the trees are inspected and found free of pests and diseases.