News & Media

Farm biosecurity reminder following cucurbit virus detection in Mid-West

Released on

Released on:
Friday, 22. July 2016 - 11:00

Cucumber and melon growers are urged to review their biosecurity practices after cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) was detected on a property near Geraldton.

The Department of Agriculture and Food confirmed the virus on a leaf sample submitted for diagnostic testing.

The virus was found in a continental cucumber crop showing symptoms of severely distorted and mottled leaves.

Chief plant biosecurity officer John van Schagen said the department was undertaking tracing investigations to determine the source and was asking growers and agronomists to report suspect CGMMV cases.

The virus has been detected in the Northern Territory and Queensland and a national management plan is being developed by government and industry.

“In WA, cucurbit samples showing signs of the disease can be tested for the presence of the virus at the department’s South Perth laboratories,” Mr van Schagen said.

The department, in liaison with vegetablesWA and local industry stakeholders, is organising a workshop for growers in the area to provide technical advice on disease management and appropriate on-farm biosecurity measures.

Mr van Schagen reminded all WA growers about the need to implement and maintain on-farm biosecurity measures to prevent this and other pests and diseases from getting onto properties.

“Measures include not permitting vehicles, equipment and machinery to move between farms without being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected,” he said. “This also applies to farm workers, by making sure they wear clean clothing when they leave or move between properties.”

Growers should seek a written statement from their seed suppliers stating that the seeds have been tested and found to be free from the virus.

CGMMV produces a range of symptoms on cucurbit leaves and fruit (including cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash) with the severity of symptoms varying greatly between varieties.

Leaf symptoms can range from mild to severe mottling, and leaf distortion. In severe cases, as the disease progresses, infected plants wilt and part or all of the plant dies.

Growers or agronomists who notice unusual pest or disease symptoms on plants should report their find to the department’s Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881.

More information on submitting symptomatic leaf samples is available from the department website or by contacting the department’s Diagnostic Laboratory Service (DDLS) on (08) 9368 3351.

More information on farm biosecurity is available from

Geraldton is a significant production region for cucumbers.

WA is currently involved with two research projects to improve the understanding of CGMMV and develop management strategies for its control.

Media contacts:

Jodie Thomson/Lisa Bertram, media liaison              +61 (0)8 9368 3937/3325