Have you seen the news from Agriculture Victoria Research which shows that phylloxera can survive for up to 29 days without food?

In the lead up to vintage, we implore you to ensure your site entry protocols and documents have been updated to reflect this knowledge. Previously, it was believed that phylloxera died after 21 days without food.

Your entry documentation includes any apps and hard copy or digital visitor registers that you use. Also ensure that you communicate the increase from 21 days to 29 days to all staff and contractors, and that it’s reflected in your service agreement templates and induction materials.

The Agriculture Victoria research was based on intensive survival studies of five of Australia’s key endemic phylloxera strains (G1, G4, G19, G20, G30), each representing a different group of strains with common ancestry. Survival was measured under a range of ambient temperatures, both in the presence and absence of food, and under wet and dry conditions.

A key finding was that in the absence of food (root material) but in the presence of water (approximating soil moisture), the G20 phylloxera strain survived for up to 29 days at 18˚C.

Vinehealth Australia released an Industry Notice in September 2021 with actions for industry resulting from the research findings, including that vineyard owners should update their farm-gate hygiene practices now, and ensure you check where machinery, equipment and visitors have been for at least the 29 days prior, before assessing the risk to your property and potentially granting controlled access to vineyards.

Refer to the flowcharts in Vinehealth Australia’s Hosting Visitors fact sheet for further information.