Victoria is on-track to eradicate chestnut blight
24 January 2017
Agriculture Victoria believes there remains a high likelihood chestnut blight will be considered eradicated within the next two years, provided no new detections are made.
A single diseased chestnut tree was detected in the Ovens Valley in July 2016 by Agriculture Victoria staff.
Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity Chestnut Blight Response Manager Stuart Roberton said the tree was destroyed, along with adjacent trees in the grove consistent with chestnut blight eradication procedures.
The appearance of the latest outbreak on a property with very few host material movements has indicated that the latency (dormancy) period of chestnut blight may be longer than first thought.
"The 2016 surveillance program was completed in September, with 87 properties surveyed and a total of 16,543 trees inspected for symptoms," Mr Roberton said.
"Encouragingly, there were no further blight detections despite the wet weather being highly favourable for a disease outbreak. Surveillance is now planned for a further two years to take into account the potential latency period of the disease.
"This extended latency period, which may be as long as six years, is a timely reminder for growers to thoroughly re-inspect all their chestnut trees for cankers, orange spores or other unexplainable diseased trunks or branches."
Trees will continue to be surveyed throughout targeted areas in the Victorian Chestnut Blight Restricted Area, including properties in Eurobin, Wandiligong, Bright, Stanley and Smoko. If no further detections are made, the surveillance program is likely to end in July 2018.
Mr Roberton said growers are asked to be alert in monitoring trees in their orchards and if any suspicious symptoms are observed to report them to Agriculture Victoria immediately.
"Agriculture Victoria is keen to remind growers of the importance of observing strict biosecurity and farm hygiene practices to help contain the disease and reduce the risk of spread."
Movement restrictions are still in place in the Chestnut Blight Restricted Area and Pest Quarantine Area. Permits for the movement of host material and equipment can be obtained through Agriculture Victoria.
Mr Roberton said growers need to keep up-to-date of any changes to these areas and/or restrictions.
Further information can be found on the Market Access Information page.
Categorised under: Biosecurity