AUSVEG has welcomed this afternoon’s announcement from the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries that property quarantine for Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) will be lifted next year.
“It is welcome news for growers that property quarantine put in place in the Northern Territory following the outbreak of CGMMV will be lifted,” said AUSVEG National Manager – Scientific Affairs Dr Jessica Lye.
The change of the quarantine status has resulted from the successful progression of the CGMMV Management Plan. AUSVEG has been a major contributor to the development of the plan and during its development worked closely with affected growers and other stakeholders.
“This plan aims to empower industry to manage the risk of CGMMV spread, rather than adopting a burdensome, highly regulatory approach,” said Dr Lye.
The quarantine is expected to be lifted in February 2016, before the commencement of the NT growing season.
“The outbreak of CGMMV was detrimental to the local cucurbit industry, with many growers forced to destroy their crops, while others were significantly affected by quarantine restrictions on domestic trade,” said Dr Lye.
“Growers have been grappling with uncertainty about how future detections in the territory will be treated. It is great news that now they will have some guidelines and the power to make decisions.”
“All jurisdictions have agreed that produce is a low risk pathway for CGMMV, so restrictions on interstate trade for produce will be lifted. Growers will be required to maintain farm biosecurity plans and monitor crops for symptoms of CGMMV infection.”
“Lifting the quarantine status is testament to the hard work and vigilant biosecurity procedures put in place by growers in the area following the outbreak.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing over 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.
While growers will be able to use previously infected soil at their own risk, they are advised to have the soil tested prior to planting as there is no guarantee that the virus will not reoccur. In the event of a re-emergence of the virus, growers will be advised to remove the crops immediately to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The quarantine measures that were put in place to minimise the spread of CGMMV were effective in promoting good biosecurity practices with growers in the region but we now know much more about the virus and have been able to develop specific biosecurity measures for effective control of CGMMV,” said Dr Lye.
Imported cucurbit seeds will continue to be tested, and soil moving from the NT will require a permit. Movement and sanitisation of equipment and conveyances from infected areas will be managed through on-farm biosecurity plans.

For more information:
Dr Jessica Lye
Scientific Affairs, AUSVEG
Phone: (03) 9882 0277