A Victorian minister has issued a warning about the dangers of fruit fly during a visit to the region yesterday.December 28, 2012 4:01am
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh, State Member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy and Adrian Conti.
Victorian Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh visited an orchard near Cobram yesterday to remind motorists not to risk carrying fruit fly into Victoria’s most productive fruit growing regions.
Mr Walsh said it was crucial drivers were aware of the threat Queensland fruit fly outbreaks posed and their responsibility not to carry host material into the state’s major fruit growing areas.
“Queensland fruit fly is one of the world’s worst horticultural pests and poses a serious risk to our fruit industries by lowering production, making fruit inedible and disrupting local and international trade,” Mr Walsh said.
“Fruit flies will infest nearly all fruits, as well as tomatoes, capsicums and chillies, and a single piece can carry a number of fruit fly maggots. Just one female fruit fly reaching adulthood can lay up to 800 eggs in her lifetime.’’
The Department of Primary Industries warned Victoria was facing one of the worst seasons for Queensland fruit fly outbreaks and 28 cases had been found in the Goulburn Valley region this year. Ten outbreaks were reported in October alone at Mooroopna, Cobram, Echuca, Katamatite, Kyabram, Murchison, Nathalia, Numurkah and Strathmerton which all required chemical control.
“If these flies are left unchecked they can rapidly spread through a fruit or vegetable growing area, resulting in unsaleable crops and the loss of markets, as well as expensive measures to control the pest which affect growers’ bottom lines,’’ Mr Walsh said.
“The best way to prevent the spread of fruit fly is not to travel with fruit or vegetables at all, whether they are grown in the backyard or purchased from a retail outlet.’’
Motorists cannot carry fresh fruit or vegetables into Victoria’s main fruit growing areas and heavy fines apply for carrying host material into fruit fly exclusion zones.
Orchadist Adrian Conti had never seen a fruit fly until last year and he’s never spotted one on a commercial orchard where control measures are constant. He agreed with Mr Walsh that it is back yard fruit trees where populations can grow unnoticed and unchecked.
‘‘We’re always in fear of fruit fly,’’ Mr Conti said.
Mr Walsh said residents in declared outbreak areas and the Sunraysia Greater Pest Free Area also had a role to play in combating the pest by keeping their gardens free of rotting fruit.
“It’s crucial that residents keep an eye on their backyard fruit trees, pick host fruit or vegetables as they ripen and quickly dispose of any fallen fruit,” Mr Walsh said.
“Unwanted fruit or vegetables should be placed in a sealed plastic bag and left in the sun for five days to kill any fruit fly maggots that may be present, then disposed of in the rubbish.”
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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