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Technical annual report 2000-01



Technical annual report 2000-01


Dept. of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical annual report; Department of Regional Development, Primary Industry, Fisheries and Resources technical and annual report; Reports; PublicationNT; Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).






Agriculture -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals; Fisheries -- Northern Territory -- Periodicals

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Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries

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Technical bulletin (Northern Territory. Dept. of Primary Industry and Fisheries) ; no. 295



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Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries 104 consumers prefer bitter melon that are 18-22 cm in length, 6-8 cm in diameter and with mid-green colour. Some growers reject up to 30% of their produce because it does not meet these requirements. Field assessments of plant growth showed differences in vine vigour. While both hybrids produced adequate growth to support and protect the fruit, the local selection was more vigorous with many fruit totally hidden by vine growth. This may have caused the pale colour of some fruit. The local selection seemed well adapted to the local environment with fewer signs of leaf wilting during periods of heat stress. Discussion: After inspecting the trial, growers continued to show a definite preference for the open-pollinated type fruit with rough irregular bumps. It appears that the smooth-skinned hybrids have less market appeal and would require promotion to be accepted by consumers. Growers would like a uniform hybrid line with the rough appearance of the local selection. Unfortunately such a hybrid is not currently available. Growers need to be more vigilant when selecting seed to minimise the variability in the local selection. Harvesting fruit at the correct maturity remains a problem, especially for inexperienced growers. Maturity indicators at harvest can be very subtle and difficult to detect. Further identification of production peaks would assist with planting schedules and completion time of harvest. Detailed studies on manipulation of the male to female flower ratio (which can be as high as 50:1) could result in significant yield increases. It is interesting to note that several growers purchased hybrid seed for planting in the 2001 season. This is a direct result of these research trials. PROJECT: Snake Bean Fusarium Survey Project Officers: M. Gosbee and K. Bui Location: Darwin Region Objective: To determine the spread of Fusarium on snake beans in the Darwin region. Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. tracheiphilum (Fot) causes early die of snake bean crops when they begin fruiting. This disease was first noted in 1999 and since has spread rapidly amongst the Asian vegetable farms. The disease is spread through poor soil hygiene and also infected seed. As considerable departmental resources are invested in finding an alternative resistant line of snake beans, a survey was conducted to determine the actual spread of the disease. Snake bean production in 1999 was worth $1.1 million. Most Asian vegetable farms were visited and the disease was described. Samples were taken where possible and given to Plant Pathology for identification.