A saboteur who tried to poison a large strawberry crop in Queensland, Australia, has been foiled by tight security measures introduced after a similar attack in 2009.
Gowinta Farms at Beerwah, on the Sunshine Coast, would have been facing multi-million dollar losses if staff had not discovered poison in the farm’s water stores.
Spokesman James Ashby said up to 170 acres of strawberries would have been lost and the incident, detected on Tuesday, was a lesson for all farmers about the importance of good security.
After the 2009 attack, which destroyed a greenhouse crop of tomatoes and cucumbers, the farm imposed a system to drain water tanks at the end of each day and regularly test water quality.
As a result, the presence of the poison was obvious to staff on Tuesday morning, Mr Ashby said.
Meanwhile, police are still trying to find those responsible for a crop sabotage incident at Bowen in north Queensland in June last year.
In that incident, Bowen Supa Seedlings lost more than seven million fruit and vegetable seedlings, destined to become crops for dozens of local growers, when its irrigation system was contaminated with herbicide.
A neighbouring property that shared the irrigation system lost more than 16,000 mature tomato plants.