With biosecurity in the news more than ever before, it’s important that everyone takes their shared responsibility for biosecurity seriously. An important role you can play is to look out for anything unusual and report it.
In the wine supply chain context, this means ensuring that you take a thorough look at all goods you’ve imported and ensure they are not harbouring any insect pests that might be exotic to Australia.
If you are considering planting vineyards, it means only purchasing your propagation material from certified nurseries or vine improvement associations. And, if you are importing material directly into Australia, complying with all national border requirements.
In your vineyard, it means monitoring for unusual vine growth as well as pests and diseases – these might be exotics such as xylella or regulated endemic pests such as phylloxera or Queensland or Mediterranean fruit fly.
Why report what you find? If you have found something exotic or new to an area, the faster it’s found the faster it can be contained and the greater the chance of eradication.
To help you recognise some key exotic plant pests as well as high priority endemic pests, you can refer to Vinehealth Australia’s eye-catching poster, called ‘If You Spot Me, Report Me’. This poster presents images of discernible characteristics of pests and diseases identified as high priority threats to the viticulture industry, to help you validate your findings in the field.
We have produced two other helpful tools to be used in conjunction with the poster:
- A world map showing where the pests and diseases have been found to date.
- A descriptive table identifying the characteristic symptoms, which plant parts are generally affected, the impact of the pest/disease and key times for monitoring.
During vintage, see what you can spot from your aerial view on a harvester, or collecting bunches for maturity samples, or tasting berries to schedule harvest. If you do find anything unusual, report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 or call Vinehealth Australia on (08) 8273 0550.