In times of emergency, like a bushfire, we understand that biosecurity is not the first priority for vineyard owners.
But when the threat has passed and your thoughts switch to recovery, it’s important to reinstate farm-gate hygiene systems to protect vines from further damage from pests and diseases.
You may receive some additional visitors after a fire, for example, friends or volunteers to help clean up or re-fence your property, consultants undertaking property or vine assessments, media taking photos, government and industry personnel offering support.
Before you allow them into your vineyard, ask where they and any machinery or equipment they bring with them has been in the month prior. If they have come from interstate or overseas, particularly phylloxera infested zones, don’t allow access to your property unless correct disinfestation procedures have been followed and quarantine documentation for equipment provided. This could save you from more heartache in the long term.
Hold meetings that don’t involve going down vine rows where you can, and ferry visitors around your property in your own vehicles. Assume that non-industry personnel who come to your property have a poor understanding of biosecurity risks and therefore will rely on your knowledge and guidance.
If you are receiving donations of secondhand posts, machinery or equipment, or you’re buying secondhand items, we recommend you establish their history to appreciate the potential risk to your vineyard. Check against the latest Phylloxera Management Zones map to ensure you are not accepting posts that have previously been used in vineyards in Phylloxera Risk or Infested Zones. These pose a high risk to your vines as they cannot be effectively cleaned of soil and plant material.
As always, if you are importing machinery and equipment into your state, ensure you contact your relevant state government biosecurity department for import requirements you must adhere to.