Panama disease tropical race 4
Panama disease tropical race 4 (Panama TR4) is a serious disease of banana plants that has been found on farms in Far North Queensland.
Understanding Panama TR4
Panama TR4 is a soilborne fungal disease that enters through the roots and starves the plant of water and nutrients, causing the plant to wilt and die.
Panama TR4 can infect most banana varieties including:
- Lady Finger
The disease is among the greatest threats to worldwide banana production. In some countries, the impact on industries and livelihoods has been devastating. We need to manage the disease in Far North Queensland or the same impact may occur.
The disease can't be eradicated and can survive undetected in the soil for decades. We can't identify Panama TR4 until banana plants show external signs of infection.
You can easily spread the disease if you move:
- infected banana plants and planting material
- contaminated soil and water.
People and machinery movement are the biggest risk to spreading the disease, but it can also be spread by:
- heavy rainfall
Panama TR4 grower kit
The Panama TR4 grower kit brings together the latest information about the disease, on-farm biosecurity practices and support services, specifically for Far North Queensland banana growers.
Protecting your farm
Good on-farm biosecurity measures are critical to protect farms from Panama TR4 and to contain the disease if it is detected. You must ensure you manage the movement of soil, water and plant material entering and exiting a farm.
Equipment and items that have come into contact with infected planting material or contaminated soil may spread the disease, such as:
- clothing boots.
On-farm biosecurity measures include:
- zoning—a simple and cost-effective way to manage disease risk pathways onto and off a farm
- footwear exchange stations and foot baths
- cleaning and disinfecting all vehicles and machinery
- setting up a clean access road.
Use these resources to help implement an effective farm biosecurity plan.
- Watch advice from growers about where to start with protecting your farm.
- Use the Banana best management practices: on-farm biosecurity guide (PDF, 4MB)—a comprehensive resource, including self-assessment checklists, to assist you to evaluate and implement an effective biosecurity plan.
- Contact the Australian Banana Growers’ Council (ABGC)—the national peak industry body for commercial banana growers.
- Visit farm biosecurity for information about on-farm biosecurity measures to help you reduce the risks posed by disease, pest and weeds on your farm.
The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) offers sustainability loans to eligible producers under the Queensland Government Primary Industry Productivity Enhancement Scheme (PIPES). These loans can be used to invest in control measures to protect farms from biosecurity risks.
- Watch a short animated video about Panama TR4.
- Watch a short video about how to properly clean a vehicle.
- Show this short video to your workers about coming clean and leaving clean.
- Watch a short video about on-farm biosecurity for managing footwear, detailing examples of how to manage the movement of people on and off your farm, as an integral part of protecting your property from Panama TR4.
- Watch a short video on identifying symptoms and protecting your farm, showing how to identify the disease and what protection measures you can put in place on your farm.
- Check the maps of biosecurity zones for restrictions when moving banana plants and items in Queensland.
- Learn more about growing bananas in the Great Barrier Reef catchments.
- Ask visitors and contractors that are working on or around your banana farm to watch this video before arriving.