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Ti Tree declared fruit fly free

Queensland fruit fly has been successfully eradicated from the Ti Tree and Rocky Hill exclusion zone.

NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources Chief Plant Health Officer Sarah Corcoran said area freedom had been returned to Ti Tree and Rocky Hill, meaning local growers would be able to distribute fruit to interstate markets this season.

“An eradication program was implemented after a low number of Queensland fruit fly were detected during a routine fruit fly monitoring program in Ti Tree and then at Rocky Hill in January 2017,” Ms Corcoran said.

“The detection of Queensland fruit fly presented a problem because these commercial horticultural production areas are fruit fly free zones and must be free of the pest to sell produce to interstate markets.

“The growers and residents have done a fantastic job working with biosecurity staff to eradicate the fruit fly and ensure area freedom could be reinstated.”

Biosecurity officers from the Department of Primary Industry and Resources worked with local industry and residents to eradicate the fruit fly, placing additional traps in the area, applying treatments to crops and removing and disposing of potential host material.

Queensland fruit fly is native to northern Australia and is a major horticultural pest, which can be managed through a systems approach to production.

Fruit fly can affect a broad range of fruit and vegetables and can easily spread across long distances.

Traps are regularly checked for Queensland fruit fly around horticulture properties in these areas to ensure that, if detected, control and eradication measures can be enacted quickly.

“Monitoring and reporting is important to check for fruit flies and ensure growers can trade local horticulture produce to interstate markets,” Ms Corcoran said.

“As fruit fly is a major horticultural pest, it is important that we ensure these areas remain fruit fly free by disposing of unused and overripe fruit and by not bringing fruit from outside the zone into the free areas. Also it’s important to report any suspicious or unusual plant pests to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline.”

Horticulture produce from Ti Tree is valued at more than $5 million per year.

Agribusiness is an important contributor the Territory economy and the Northern Territory Government is committed to strong biosecurity practices that protect the NT from pests, diseases and weeds.

Source: NT Government

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