A pile of industrial fruit has been left to rot at the side of a rural Shepparton road, sparking concerns from passersby and agricultural community members.
The News was contacted by an anonymous passerby, who claimed the piles of rotting pears had caused a stink on the side of Lataris Rd, Shepparton East, on the corner of Channel Rd.
The pears appear to have been dumped and cover an almost 10m stretch of the road, along with other items of rubbish and empty wooden crates.
The dumping of fruit is fiercely frowned upon within the agricultural community, due to the potential to increase the severity of fruit fly.
Fruitgrowers Victoria chairman Gary Godwill said the practice of unauthorised fruit dumping, particularly on the side of a road, was unheard of and unacceptable.
‘‘It’s not good for any sort of rubbish to be dumped like that, let alone fruit, because you’ll have the added issue of fruit fly and other pests,’’ Mr Godwill said.
‘‘The fruit fly prefers to breed in what’s on the tree, but they will go for what’s on the ground.
‘‘The sooner it rots the better, but ideally this should be cleaned up, and I suspect the council is aware of it and will sort it out.’’
Mr Godwill said he suspected the dumped fruit was unsellable stock from last year, but he added most growers used old stock for animal feed.
‘‘I think most growers are doing the right thing and I’ve never seen or heard of that happening like this before,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve heard of accidental spills where someone has lost a load on a truck, but I’ve never heard of deliberate dumping on a roadside.’’
A Greater Shepparton City Council spokesperson said an environmental protection officer was investigating.