CITRUS SA chair Mark Doecke says they will continue to push for the culling of backyard fruit trees in an effort to completely eradicate Queensland fruit fly from the Riverland region.
The call comes as restrictions for the Pike River and Renmark West suspension areas were extended another five months to October 25, following a fruit fly detection last week.
"It has been disappointing that all these detections have been in backyard trees, not commercial orchards," Mr Doecke said.
"We have been calling for a ban or for backyard orchards to be removed - if you have a backyard tree you don't maintain, then get rid of it.
"We had also suggested giving people an option to have their tree removed and replace it with a native, but we have yet to see any change."
Mr Doecke said this recent extension would be affecting the end of the stonefruit season, some grape deliveries to certain wineries, and would be a "major logistical pain" for the upcoming citrus season at the end of April.
"The only option affected citrus growers will have is to dip their fruit in a chemical, which is banned by many markets," he said.
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"Plus it costs hundreds of dollars per tonne to process it like that, due to freight, unloading, reloading, time and logistics.
"And now diesel is more expensive, it's going to cost a lot more to shift that fruit unnecessarily."
PIRSA fruit fly response general manager Nick Secomb agreed it was disappointing they were not able to lift restrictions, but unfortunately the new detection had come at a time when it was possible for Qfly to survive through winter.
"So we need to extend the end date further over the cooler months, including into spring, due to the cooler temperatures," he said.
"Adult flies can emerge from the pupae in as little as seven days during summer, but are able to survive as adults over winter."
PIRSA will continue operations to eradicate of fruit fly in Pike River and Renmark West by applying organic bait to trees, releasing sterile fruit flies, installing and checking traps, and checking for signs of fruit fly in backyard and commercial fruit.
The restrictions were first placed on the Riverland area in December 2020.
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