22.1 C
Byron Shire
December 7, 2021

Banana disease on the loose

Latest News

Comment: the peace and joy of Christmas

Christmas has always been a special time, and it holds some wonderful memories of early years, when youthful exuberance shaped my world, and it’s a time remembered for the happiness of family gatherings and the sound of kids waking early to see what Santa had delivered. 

Other News

True non-partisan leadership of Ballina Shire Council over

A reign of non-partisan leadership in the Ballina Shire may well be over, with conservative independent Sharon Cadwallader leading the mayoral vote tally by lunchtime Tuesday.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Crossing Over

I miss travelling. I miss the thrill of going somewhere new. The last few years feels like we’ve had no adventures. No interesting and foreign lands to explore.  It’s been all about staying at home. Thanks to Annastacia Palaszczuk, going to Queensland feels a bit like going overseas. I’ve had to cross the border for work a few times lately. 

Cats

To quote Greta, ‘How dare they?!’ SBS is running an advertising campaign for Airbnb, encouraging visitors to take their...

Bullshit detectors needed

Well well; we have a true Scepticarius in the mayoral race after all – a curmudgeonly and doggedly forensic...

Taking the tourism tiger by the tail

Tourism is a key economic driver of the Byron Shire and despite the impacts of the pandemic on the...

Responsible dog owner

I read with interest Alison Drover’s article on dog management and the follow up letters last week, and I...

Banana growers beware: one of the world’s worst viral diseases to affect banana plants is being detected in the region, and Byron and Ballina shire residents are being asked to help stop its spread southwards.

National Bunchy Top Project manager Mr David Peasley says that there have been isolated findings of Bunchy Top in the Byron and Ballina shires’ border area on commercial plantations and on other properties in recent months.

‘The Bunchy Top virus has the potential to wipe out the Australian banana industry as well as stop people from having healthy home grown bananas, unless we are vigilant.’

It’s a statement supported by the NSW department of primary industries.

A spokesperson told The Echo that it is a ‘massive threat’, and has been a problem for some time. They added that a permit is required if you have more than one plant.

No cure

As there is no cure, Mr Peasley says it’s important to destroy the plants if they think they are diseased, ‘as they could unknowingly spread the disease further.’

Talofa resident Roz Borrell says she noticed some of her bananas were not forming bunches. ‘So I went onto the bunchy top website and saw the symptoms were similar. The inspectors confirmed that, so I am pleased that we have now stopped any potential spread of the disease further,’ Ms Borrell said.

Mr Peasley says aphids blown in the wind after feeding on infected plants carry the virus. It is also spread by transplanting infected suckers, so any infected plants pose the risk of spreading the disease further.

The virus stunts the growth of leaves and an infected plant will not produce a healthy bunch of bananas.

Bunchy Top will inspect and destroy any infected plants free of charge, according to Mr Peasley.

For more visit www.bunchytop.org.au for call the hotline 1800 068 371.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

True non-partisan leadership of Ballina Shire Council over

A reign of non-partisan leadership in the Ballina Shire may well be over, with conservative independent Sharon Cadwallader leading the mayoral vote tally by lunchtime Tuesday.

Call for feedback on new Lismore skate park plan

Lismore City Council is calling on local skaters to provide insight into the design of a potentially new skatepark in the Lismore CBD.

Dad’s army called to arms as hospitality staffing crisis worsens

So dire has the shortage of hospitality staff in Northern NSW become, that the local chapter of the NSW business chamber is calling on retired workers to dust off their aprons and help out.

Public school teachers across the region to strike today

Hundreds of public school teachers and principals across the Northern Rivers will strike today )(Tuesday December 7) over what they say is the Government’s failure to address unsustainable workloads and uncompetitive salaries which are contributing to growing shortages of teachers.