Vegie plant bug is here to stay
A DESTRUCTIVE horticultural pest found for the first time in Australia in February cannot be eradicated, so the industry will seek to manage it, rather than destroy it.
The National Management Group for tomato-potato psyllid (TPP) — comprising all Australian governments, affected industries and Plant Health Australia — has agreed TPP is no longer technically feasible to eradicate. The pest was detected in Perth, WA, in February
TPP is a small flying insect that is responsible for carrying and spreading the bacteria that causes Zebra chip disease in potatoes.
The disease produces dark brown stripes and renders potato tubers unusable.
The pest after being detected in New Zealand in 2006 cost the industry more than $200 million.
The impact of TPP could be potentially devastating to the potato industry and could result in millions of dollars of losses annually through increased pest control and monitoring, reduced yields and disruption to commodity export markets.
The Department of Food and Agriculture WA said it would work on a plan to control the tomato potato psyllid, which attacks a range of vegetable crops including tomato, eggplant, capsicum, chilli and tamarillo.