Community urged to be vigilant and look for signs of Blueberry Rust

With the spring growing season upon us, all Tasmanians who have blueberry plants are encouraged to remain vigilant for the signs of blueberry rust. 

Although the disease is currently present in the State, a containment strategy is in place to help protect industry and reduce the risk of further movement of the disease. There are five commercial berry growers being actively managed under the containment strategy.

As part of the ongoing containment strategy, the Department is currently investigating the detection of a number of blueberry rust infected plants at a small number of Tasmanian retail nurseries. The infected plants were supplied to nurseries in the north, north-west and south of the state.

Biosecurity Tasmania has worked with the outlets to remove all blueberry plants from sale at these locations until further notice and is undertaking an ongoing investigation.
The outlets involved have been very proactive and supportive of the importance of this work.  

Our priority upon detection is to immediately manage the biosecurity risk and ensure appropriate measures are implemented to manage blueberry rust presence on site.
Our message to people is simple. If you have recently purchased blueberry plants and have concerns, please contact Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777.

Biosecurity Tasmania Officers are available to come to your home and inspect the plants.  Suspect plants should not be disturbed or moved.

Blueberry rust is a disease of blueberries that causes extensive defoliation and may cause plant death in the case of severe infections. 

The Government is investing in research into new treatments for blueberry rust, conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA), with funding from the Agricultural Innovation Fund.

Click here for further information about blueberry rust, including signs and symptons.

If you suspect that your plants may be infected with blueberry rust please call Biosecurity Tasmania on (03) 6165 3777.

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