Pests and Diseases, Processing, fries, chips, Research

Zebra chips still off the menu in Australia

Dr. Robert Tegg inspecting an insect trap at a ‘Daly Gourmet Potatoes’ grown crop near Dunalley, Tasmania.Despite an increasing threat of invasion, a national surveillance program led by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA) has found mainland Australia and Tasmania are still free of an insect pest that has devastated potato crops in New Zealand. Zebra chip disease, which is caused by a bacteria that produces dark brown stripes in potato tubers and renders them unusable, is carried and spread by a small flying insect called the tomato-potato psyllid (TPP). Native to North and Central America, TPP was first detected in New Zealand in 2006 and has cost the industry more than $200 million. The risk of an invasion into mainland Australia recently increased after TPP was discovered on Norfolk Island last year. More

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