If you’re working with contractors or welcoming tourists back to your sites, you are no doubt navigating COVID biosecurity requirements as borders open up.

Do you also have appropriate systems in place for managing plant biosecurity risks related to these visitors?

It’s well known that people can pick up pests, diseases and weeds from the soil and vines on their clothing, shoes, tyres, equipment and machinery and spread them to the next vineyard they visit. You have the ability to minimise this pest entry and spread by being proactive.

Vinehealth Australia’s ‘Biosecurity Planning for Vineyard Owners Hosting Visitors’ fact sheet is one we recommend you familiarise yourself with, to assist you to manage the impacts of visitation on the health of vines. It includes best practice biosecurity advice relevant to hosting individual visitors, small and large groups, and major events.

A key section to read is the Entry Conditions for Vine Rows. In flowchart format, we recommend options for managing visitor footwear, clothing and machinery, should you grant controlled access to your vine rows, after identifying what questions to ask of your visitors. It also highlights situations under which you should not grant access.

Other handy tips are provided around:

  • Considerations for designing a route of travel to minimise pest spread, when visiting a number of vineyards in different regions and states;
  • Biosecurity principles that are important to familiarise staff with; particularly for staff who visit other vineyards, or manage visitors to vineyards in tourism areas;
  • Designing visitor experiences that minimise the risk of pest introduction; and
  • Designing tourism areas with biosecurity in mind.