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Tasmania $30m blueberry industry threatened by killer fungal disease

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Staff Writer | November 3, 2017
Blueberry Tasmania
Food production   Blueberry rust

Tasmania's $30 million blueberry industry has been struck another blow with the discovery of a fourth site carrying a killer fungal disease.

Berry growers are renewing calls for a blueberry rust eradication program after the discovery of the pest on a property near Sheffield on the North West Coast.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment says samples were collected at a property in the Kentish Municipality and plant pathology examinations confirmed blueberry rust — the fourth site in Tasmania with the fungal disease.

Tasmanian blueberry grower and former Australian Blueberry Growers’ Association president Greg McCulloch said growers were not happy.

Tasmania has 80 registered blueberry growers in an industry worth about $30 million.

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