Crit­i­cal time for QFF growth

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

In­ten­si­fied Queens­land fruit fly (QFF) con­trol mea­sures through­out au­tumn will play a sig­nif­i­cant role in pro­tect­ing next sea­son’s hor­ti­cul­tural crop.

The num­ber of young flies able to sur­vive the ap­proach­ing win­ter will re­duce through­out April and May, with the fo­cus now on min­imis­ing adult QFF num­bers.

Po­ten­tial breed­ing grounds ex­ist in home gar­dens, or­chards, un­tended prop­er­ties, road­sides, chan­nel banks and bush­land with gar­den­ers, farm­ers and com­mer­cial grow­ers asked to con­tinue to im­ple­ment con­trol mea­sures.

Goul­burn Mur­ray Val­ley Re­gional QFF co-or­di­na­tor Ross Ab­ber­field said the con­tin­ued im­ple­men­ta­tion of con­trol mea­sures at a com­mu­nity level was es­sen­tial.

‘‘Dur­ing April and May, as the weather cools down, QFF males and fe­males change sur­vival strate­gies from re­pro­duc­tion to win­ter sur­vival and now ex­tra pro­tein, for both sexes, is es­sen­tial for their sur­vival,’’ he said.

‘‘It is ex­tremely im­por­tant to re­duce the num­ber of QFF able to lay their eggs into fruit, as it is the off­spring of these flies that will sur­vive over win­ter and cause prob­lems to the com­mu­nity and the com­mer­cial grower next sea­son.’’

Mr Ab­ber­field re­minded keen gar­den­ers, prop­erty own­ers, farm­ers and com­mer­cial grow­ers of the com­bined com­mu­nity ef­fort re­quired to re­duce the spread of QFF and pro­tect the re­gion’s hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try.

‘‘Queens­land fruit fly is a se­ri­ous threat to our re­gion’s multi-mil­lion-dol­lar hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try, the lo­cal econ­omy and the many jobs the in­dus­try sup­ports,’’ he said.

‘‘We are ask­ing the com­mu­nity to re­main ac­tive through­out au­tumn to help us safe­guard next sea­son’s crops and en­sure the vi­a­bil­ity and fu­ture of our hor­ti­cul­ture sec­tor.

‘‘If we can tackle fruit fly now by tak­ing ex­tra care to pick up and de­stroy fallen fruit and har­vest­ing any fruit that is still on the tree and by pro­cess­ing, eat­ing or de­stroy­ing it, we can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce the threat through­out au­tumn and, im­por­tantly, next sea­son.’’

For more information, pick up an information pack from coun­cil’s cus­tomer ser­vice cen­tre or visit gmvqld­fruit­fly.com.au

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