TOOWOOMBA-BASED seed developer and distributor DuPont Pioneer has spoken out against the proposed closure of the post-entry quarantine facility in Brisbane, warning it could result in up to $10 million in lost income for corn and grain sorghum growers.
The Eagle Farm facility is currently a fee-for-service Queensland Government location that treats, plants and propagates imported seed, ensuring the germplasm is disease-free.
DuPont Pioneer's Australian research manager, Stephen Wilson, said there was no industry consultation about the closure, which would negatively impact on all of the company's ability to import corn and sorghum germplasm with high-yield potential.
"Each year we are seeing an increase in yield for corn and grain sorghum of around 1.5% from plant breeding efforts. So that yield increase may well be lost if we are unable to import high-yield potential germplasm," he said.
Mr Wilson said DuPont Pioneer was willing to pay more than the $30,000 a year it previously paid.
While the seed industry is reeling from the news, the State and Federal governments continue to debate who is responsible.
Agriculture minister John McVeigh said post-entry quarantine was a federal responsibility.
"Mr Ludwig has outright ignored our protest over imports. How dare he ask us to continue to stump up his obligation when it comes to checking imports?" he said.
A meeting will be held in Brisbane on September 28 at 10.30am at the Northgate Airport Hotel for stakeholders affected, to discuss alternative options and shed further light on the situation.
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