West Australian potato disease threat stunts trade as growers warned spread 'almost inevitable'
Posted March 31, 2017 09:26:48
More than 5,000 tonnes of Western Australian seed potato could be dumped due to trade restrictions put in place to deal with the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) outbreak.
The Department of Agriculture and Food of WA (DAFWA) is currently assessing whether the bacterium candidatus liberibacter solanacearum is present in the state, which has the potential to cause the damaging zebra chip disease in potatoes.
The psyllid was detected in the state last month, which was the first time it had ever been discovered in Australia.
DAFWA introduced new quarantine measures to help contain an outbreak of the psyllid last week as a national plan was released to help monitor and contain the movement of vegetables and seedlings.
The executive director of biosecurity and regulation for the department Kevin Chennell said the disease was going to prove difficult to eradicate.
"There's national consensus that it's going to be very difficult," he said.