Goulburn Murray Valley outlook

The Goulburn Murray Valley (GMV) region experienced a number of severe weather events in recent months, impacting summer fruit crops and Queensland Fruit Fly (QFF) populations. Searing heat led to a reduction in fruit size for some growers in the region and severe hail storms resulted in up to 100 per cent losses for some growers located in the direct path of the storms.

Population trends

The general trend in QFF numbers is now on the rise as is usual through February. During last year’s fruit fl y season there was a drop in the normal rise in QFF numbers over December 2018 to February 2019, which when compared with data from the previous seven years suggests that a combination of area wide management and periodic weather conditions that impacted adversely on QFF survival contributed to keeping numbers down. A similar pattern is occurring this season. The increase in QFF populations is currently occurring predominantly in urban areas of the GMV. However, February 2020 will see the start of the annual rise in QFF numbers in rural locations

Potential fruit fly hot spots

Potential fruit fly hot spots are currently located in the following urban areas:

  • Barooga
  • Kialla
  • Numurkah
  • Cobram
  • Kyabram
  • Shepparton
  • Echuca
  • Merrigum
  • Orrvale

The above mentioned sites are of concern for potential hot spot status, so it is important that members of the community who have gardens and orchards in these areas take precautions to reduce the ability of QFF to infest fruit and survive in them. It is highly recommended that orchards within 5km of potential hot spots are particularly vigilant as these orchards may be at risk from QFF moving in and damaging fruit ripening in late Summer and Autumn