Tomato bio alert

North East & Goulburn Murray Farmer - - NEWS -

VIC­TO­RIAN hor­ti­cul­tur­ists are be­ing urged to im­ple­ment best prac­tice biose­cu­rity mea­sures fol­low­ing out­breaks of Tomato Potato Psyl­lid (TPP) in West­ern Aus­tralia.

Chief plant health officer Dr Gabrielle Vivian-Smith said there have been no con­firmed re­ports of TPP in Vic­to­ria.

Vic­to­ria has im­posed re­stric­tions on the im­por­ta­tion of any risk ma­te­rial from West­ern Aus­tralia as a pre­cau­tion.

The re­stric­tions ex­tend to plant or plant prod­uct be­long­ing to the fam­ily Con­volvu­laceae or the fam­ily Solanaceae.

These fam­i­lies include plants such as sweet pota­toes, capsicums, toma­toes, egg­plants, pota­toes, tamar­il­los and chill­ies.

Dr Vivian-Smith said TPP is a small sap-suck­ing, winged in­sect, which re­sem­bles a tiny ci­cada (3mm long).

TPP causes yel­low­ing of the leaves, wilt­ing, mis­shapen fruit and re­duced crop yield.

A no­tice­able sign is the pres­ence of small in­sects jump­ing from the fo­liage when dis­turbed.

Adult psyl­lids are some­times called jump­ing plant lice as they read­ily jump and fly when dis­turbed.

TPP can also trans­mit a bac­terium called CLso (Can­di­da­tus Liberib­ac­ter solanacearum) that is as­so­ci­ated with the ze­bra chip dis­ease in potato.

The bac­terium can also cause stunt­ing, stem death, yel­lowed leaves and yield losses in capsicums, chill­ies and toma­toes.

The bac­terium does not pose a risk to hu­man health and it has not been de­tected in Vic­to­ria.

Grow­ers are ad­vised to re­main vig­i­lant and to reg­u­larly check their crops.

BE­WARE: Grow­ers are ad­vised to re­main vig­i­lant of Tomato Potato Psyl­lid.

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