Health/Nutrition/Food Safety, New Zealand, Australia, Pests and Diseases

West Australian farmers have lost millions one year on from tomato potato psyllid outbreak

A man in a blue work shirt and shorts standing in front of pallets of potatoes.Two West Australian farmers say they have each lost more than $1 million and have been forced to downsize their operations in the 12 months since the tomato potato psyllid was discovered near Perth. It has been a year since the Australia-first discovery, which is regarded as one of the most serious bio-security incidents in Western Australia’s horticultural history. A South West potato grower has halved operations and is restructuring his business after being forced to dump more than $1.1m of potatoes that could not leave the state. Responding to the psyllid and making a plan to live with it is expected to cost the State Government more than $3 million. Within days of the pest’s discovery, movement of plants and produce thought to be hosts of the psyllid were restricted within WA and to interstate markets. More

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