Australia: Nursery confirms links to melon virus outbreak
Biosecurity Queensland has confirmed it’s investigating a Queensland nursery linked to the outbreak of a virus that’s crippled the Northern Territory’s melon industry, but has refused to provide exact details about the nursery, or nurseries, involved.
Determining where cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) came from has been described as like finding ‘a needle in a haystack’.
The virus originated overseas, and has devastated the Territory’s horticulture industry since it was found on melon farms near Katherine in the Northern Territory seven weeks ago, and more recently on a pumpkin farm.
Ten farmers have had their properties quarantined and told to destroy their crops.
They’ve also had a two-year ban imposed on growing any crops related to the cucurbit family which includes cucumber and melons.
One theory is the virus was accidentally brought into Australia on infected cucurbit seed. From there, the seed is thought to have been grown out at a nursery before being sent to the Northern Territory.