Sentinel planting program
The sentinel planting is the most important part of phase three of the National Banana Freckle Eradication Program.
The sentinel planting program is a ‘test planting’ in red zones to see if the banana freckle fungus has been eradicated from the Northern Territory (NT).
Sentinel banana plants are planted and then monitored for signs of banana freckle.
If the fungus is still present it will infect these plants, as it only survives on live plants.
Monitoring of banana plants
All banana plants in red zones, whether bought or supplied as part of the sentinel planting, will be monitored for signs of banana freckle.
Monitoring of your banana plants is part of the permit conditions and will help the NT prove we have eradicated banana freckle.
After April 2017 the results of the monitoring will be used to scientifically prove that banana freckle has been eradicated.
If all goes to plan it is anticipated that banana growing can return to normal in mid-2017.
Permit controls will remain in place until the NT is recognised as being free of banana freckle.
Sentinel planting program – Darwin red zone
About 3,000 Greater Darwin area residents and growers who had banana plants destroyed in phase one have been invited to participate in the sentinel planting program.
If you are not taking part in the program, but would like to grow bananas in the red zone, read more about buying banana plants.
About the sentinel banana plants
Sentinel banana plants provided by the program are free and not genetically modified.
Seedlings are brought from Queensland and grown to pot-size at Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries sites in the green zone.