Important program to protect chestnut industry
Recent changes to chestnut blight Restricted and Pest Quarantine Areas will affect some chestnut growers.
The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) is advising chestnut growers that restrictions have recently changed and that they need to familiarise themselves with the new restrictions available at www.agriculture.vic.gov.au
DEDJTR Chestnut Blight Operations Manager Amy Moore said due to the reduced presence of the disease, a smaller Restricted Area and changes to Pest Quarantine Areas (PQA) are now in place. In addition, growers with 20 or more trees, are now required to obtain a Property Identification Code (PIC).
“PICs will enable DEDJTR to quickly alert producers of any plant pest or disease outbreaks and will assist the department, producers and industry to respond to outbreaks more effectively, minimising disruptions to trade,” Ms Moore said.
“There is no cost to apply for or update a PIC and there are three options available to acquire one.”
- apply online
- download an application form
- contact the PIC Helpline on 1800 678 779 to have a form mailed or faxed to them.
Ms Moore said regular surveillance for chestnut blight in the Ovens Valley has not detected any new outbreaks of the disease in recent years, the last detection being in July 2014.
“Growers are urged to continuously check their trees, report any suspicious symptoms and to follow recommended hygiene practices to help contain the disease.
“Chestnut blight is a declared exotic disease and a serious threat to the industry.”
Landholders are legally obliged to notify DEDJTR if they find suspected chestnut blight symptoms by contacting the DEDJTR Customer Service Centre on 136 186.
Ms Moore said in the last five years DEDJTR has inspected over 100,000 trees and removed over 5,000 diseased and at-risk chestnut trees from in and around infected chestnut groves.
DEDJTR have been working with industry to eradicate chestnut blight in Victoria since it was first detected in 2010.