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Two new cases of blueberry rust found in Tasmania

Two new cases of blueberry rust have been detected in North-West Tasmania, leaving the state’s blueberry growers concerned about the disease’s impact on their fruit.

Biosecurity Tasmania’s website said the disease was detected at the North-West properties in March 2017, but an update on the blueberry rust threat was only posted this month.

A Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment department spokesman said the new cases of the disease were “near the first site”. Quarantine measures are continuing at these sites.

Turners Marsh organic blueberry farmer, Kent Mainwaring, is concerned that Biosecurity Tasmania’s efforts to control the disease in Tasmania would impact his ability to sell fruit to the organic market.

“We are certified organic and 99 per cent of our fruit is sent directly to the mainland, so that market is important to us,” Mr Mainwaring said.

“What’s concerning to us is that if we have to treat our fruit it is no longer organic. I would always be able to sell [my blueberries] as conventional fruit, but it’s not as lucrative,” he said.

Read more at goodfruitandvegetables.com.au

Publication date: 6/19/2017


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