Make yourself a cuppa, grab a biccie and settle into a comfy chair: the Vinehealth Australia’s 2016/17 Annual Report is now available.

This report details all the activities that have been undertaken in the past year with the levy money Vinehealth Australia receives from you and all other registered vineyard owners in South Australia. For that reason alone, it’s worth a read.

In our last e-news we shared highlights from our ‘Improving phylloxera and general biosecurity awareness and education’ key priority area. In this issue, we’re sharing a snippet about our surveillance program.

Did you know that Vinehealth Australia carries out active surveillance of South Australian vineyards for phylloxera and other vine health issues?

Active surveillance commenced in 2001 with the use of remote sensing and GIS technologies. Digital multi-spectral imagery is collected in summer and enhanced using a range of algorithms which highlight vines that have low vigour relative to the general health of the total vineyard block.

These maps are overlaid on previous maps collected for that region to identify locations that should be physically inspected for phylloxera or other conditions that can affect vine health. Imagery is collected every three to five years for each grape growing region in SA which enables multiple-year comparisons to detect vine decline.

In 2017-18 imagery for the Limestone Coast will be obtained and scrutinised.

“It must be noted that such active surveillance based on aerial imagery will only detect phylloxera infestations several years after the initial infestation,” said Vinehealth Australia CEO Inca Pearce.

“During the period before vine canopy symptoms become apparent, phylloxera is multiplying and can be spread to other vineyards. Therefore, it’s imperative that Vinehealth Australia continues to advocate for the development of early detection methods for phylloxera, and continues to focus on farm-gate hygiene practices and biosecurity awareness.”

To read the Vinehealth Australia 2016/17 Annual Report click here.

2016-17 aerial surveillance of South Australia for vine decline