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.
The fire in the Creightons Creek region, south of Euroa, is continuing to burn today and the CFA is warning residents to be cautious of falling trees.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Multiple fires on the Northern Hwy, Echuca are now being listed as under control by CFA. However, traffic diversions remain between Echuca and Rochester.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
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