Focus on eradication

By Rodney Woods

Bringing together research and practical application was the focus of the seventh annual Australian Biology of Tephritid Fruit Flies Conference, held across two days last week.

Hosted in Shepparton for the first time, the conference’s theme ‘Blue Sky Applied’ highlighted blue-sky (clear) research that could be applied to provide practical solutions for Australian horticulture.

Goulburn Murray Valley regional fruit fly co-ordinator Ross Abberfield said the event was for government bodies, researchers and industry representatives.

‘‘There were a couple of grower representatives but there was a real focus on research, industry and government,’’ he said.

Fruit Growers Victoria deputy chair and GV Crop Protection integrated pest management technician Elizabeth Mace said the program to eradicate fruit fly was an important one.

‘‘It’s vital,’’ she said.

‘‘This particular program has been really vital, not just for farmers, who are doing a fantastic job on their farm, but really important for bringing the message to the wider community.’’

Speakers at the event included Dr Mark Schutze, Dr Paul Cunningham, Professor Anthony Clarke, Professor Phillip Taylor, Dr Simon Baxter and Dr Nancy Schellhorn.

The conference was run by the Goulburn Murray Valley Fruit Fly Project’s governance group.

Meanwhile, a fruit fly outbreak was recently declared at Lindsay Point, near the junction of the borders of South Australia, Victoria and NSW.

The quarantine and suspension areas will remain in place until at least December 22.