Fruit fly is an issue Torrumbarry farmer Andrew Crossman is concerned about.KATHLEEN TONINI January 21, 2013 4:29am
District fruit growers are being left to cope with fruit fly infestations on their own.
Crossie’s ‘Cados owner Andrew Crossman, who also grows stone-fruits on a property near Torrumbarry, recently found fruit fly on his trees for the first time.
He called the Department of Primary Industries, but apart from some advice over the phone which directed him to a horticultural supplier in Shepparton, nothing was done.
‘‘You’re really left to your own devices,’’ he said.
He said the reaction from the authorities was different in the past.
‘‘Even five years ago, it was almost like the army converged (on fruit fly infested properties),’’ he said.
To deal with the outbreak, he has had to use pesticides on his fruit for the first time.
Mr Crossman said while not many stone fruit growers were in the area, he was concerned growers were hiding the fact that fruit fly had affected them.
He believed it would be better if farmers were open in stating it was a problem in order to get government and community help.
‘‘We just want assistance in making sure we can combat it and make sure it doesn’t come back,’’ he said.
DPI plant biosecurity and product integrity director Russell McMurray said there had been more than 100 outbreaks of fruit fly across Victoria.
He said the responsibility of controlling the pest had always been with the farmer.
‘‘They’re a commercial entity; it’s their produce,’’ he said.
‘‘It (coming in to control the pest) would be like us coming in harvesting their produce.’’
Mr McMurray said eradicating the pest in Victoria would cost $26
‘‘Is it a good use of taxpayers’ money to continue to fight something we no longer believe is eradicable?’’ he said.
He also said not spending money on eradicating the pest meant more efforts could be put into combating new and emerging pests.
Mr McMurray said since the start of the month new regulations meant farmers no longer had to treat their crop if there was an outbreak within a 15km radius.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
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