UK tomatoes and peppers are under threat from a virus that could be “devastating” for crops. The virus results in unsellable fruit and can affect up to 100 per cent of stock, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), which represents growers, has said.
UK growers, glasshouse and packhouse staff are being urged to stay “vigilant” and look for symptoms of the virus, which the AHDB warned could be “devastating to UK crops of tomatoes and peppers”.
The tomato is the major host of ToBRFV but sweet pepper can act as a minor host too.
Should the virus spread to the UK it would have a “substantial economic impact”, the AHDB predicted.
“While the virus isn’t yet in the UK, we are mobilizing resource to make sure that the industry [is] aware of the possible symptoms,” said Nathalie Key of the AHDB.
“It’s important growers are aware of hygiene protocols to minimize the risk of infection.”
“UK growers need to be vigilant for symptoms. Applying good hygiene measures should help to reduce the risk of spread within a glasshouse, should an outbreak occur.”
Symptoms to look out for include mosaic staining of the leaves, discoloured fruit with yellow spots and deformed fruits.
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