Over recent years much of the Australian banana industry has moved to the use of disease free tissue culture plants for new banana plantings to exclude potentially devastating diseases such as banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) and panama disease (fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense).
The use of tissue culture plants also eliminates the risk of introducing pests such as banana weevil borer and nematodes with the planting material.
However, only a small proportion of NSW growers are using tissue culture plants when replanting.
Growers say this is due to a number of factors, including a perception that tissue culture plants cannot be used if irrigation is not available, as well as the lateness of delivery times for tissue cultured plants produced in NSW, which often limits growers to planting after Christmas.
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