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Shannon Paton and Sarah Schultz, who run Paton’s Exotics at Nerada, near lnnisfail in Queensland, were the winners of the 2014 Plant Biosecurity Farmer of the Year Award.
Paton’s Exotics grow seven varieties of bananas and send the fruit to five Australian states.
The main pest threat is an endemic fungal disease, Race 1 Panama disease (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense), but the biosecurity measures used to protect their property from this disease also prevent other pests and diseases.
Shannon Paton and Sarah Schultz, who run Paton’s Exotics at Nerada, near lnnisfail, growing seven varieties of bananas and sending the fruit to five states.
According to Mr Paton, knowing the pests and diseases of your crop and how they can spread – like soil, water and planting material – you can plan to prevent them from entering and becoming established on your farm.
“We did a fair bit of homework regarding our varieties and what diseases can knock them around,” said Mr Paton.
“Biosecurity measures start at the farm gate with washing vehicles, footwear and anything else that has soil on it or has come into contact with soil,” he said.