Growers say bye bye blight

WEB_chestnut blight
CHESTNUTS Australia president Brian Casey is confident no new cases of chestnut blight will be found in the Ovens Valley when trees are checked in the coming months.

CHESTNUTS Australia president Brian Casey is confident no new cases of chestnut blight will be found in the Ovens Valley when trees are checked in the coming months.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity will begin the next round of chestnut blight surveillance in early September and plans to be completed by mid-October.

Checks in autumn found no new infections and Mr Casey said if any new cases arise they will most likely be during the next surveillance period.

“The disease sits dormant in winter and then becomes more active in spring,” he said.

“We were pretty disappointed by the single detection last July but we think it’s highly unlikely to happen again.

“After last year, surveillance officers decided they needed to be more thorough and they certainly have been, so we’ll be very surprised if another infection pops up.”

The single diseased chestnut tree found in July 2016 came as the region was about to be given the all clear from the foreign infection that threatened to destroy the $10 million industry six years earlier.

Agriculture Victoria Biosecurity officers found now new infections when they undertook autumn chestnut blight surveillance on 8188 chestnut trees across the Ovens Valley Restricted Area.

Autumn surveys focused on previously infected properties to check for any remaining contamination.

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