Be on high alert for citrus canker disease
AN EXERCISE designed to improve the NSW citrus industry’s readiness for an outbreak of serious disease was held this week. Exercise Orange Juice, a discussion based exercise, tested the ability of NSW to manage and eradicate citrus canker, a disease with the potential to devastate the NSW industry.
NSW DPI deputy director general food safety and biosecurity, Dr Bruce Christie, said the proactive, collaborative approach was key to being in control should an outbreak occur in NSW.
“The disease causes lesions on the leaves, fruit and stems of citrus trees, and while it doesn’t pose a risk to human health, the unsightly lesions render fruit worthless,” he said. “Lessons learnt from Exercise Orange Juice will obviously be important to the citrus industry, but they’ll also be important to our efforts to protect the wider $1.4 billion NSW horticulture industry.”
Symptoms of citrus canker are most likely to manifest in spring. Dr Christie urges those with backyard citrus trees to inspect their trees and report suspicious symptoms.
More information at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au.